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This article was published 27/7/2011 (3032 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
After a 66-year-old Minnesota woman was detained at a Manitoba border crossing on allegations of heroin trafficking, customs officials reportedly received a call from her son saying any drugs they found belonged to him.
An audio tape of Janet Goodin's bail hearing on April 27 records Crown attorney Kathleen Tokaruk telling provincial court Judge Lee Ann Martin about the call from Alan Goodin, Janet's son, saying "he was upset with the fact that his mother was being detained at the point of entry. He indicated that whatever drugs that were found in the vehicle belonged to him and not his mother."
Tokaruk concluded Goodin was "at least a party to the offence."
As first reported by the Winnipeg Free Press, Janet Goodin spent 12 days in jail earlier this year because field tests of a motor oil container found in the vehicle by border officials indicated the presence of heroin. A more thorough test performed at a Health Canada lab in Winnipeg determined there was no heroin in the container.
Alan Goodin, who lives in Oregon, could not be reached Wednesday for comment on his phone call to border guards who apprehended his mother, but Scott Newman, Janet Goodin's lawyer at the time, said he was just doing anything he could to get his mother out of trouble.
"He thought it was ridiculous (that she was being detained) and he was willing to say whatever was necessary to keep her from being charged with an offence.
"I didn't take that to be any kind of a serious comment and I don't think anyone in the court really put much weight on it," Newman said.
The tape of the bail hearing also brings other information to light.
According to RCMP notes presented at the hearing, border officers conducted two field tests on the liquid in the container they suspected contained heroin: a narcotic identification kit (NIK) test and a Herosol spray test.
The NIK test consists of dipping testing paper in the liquid and then placing the testing paper into a solution, where a change in colour of the paper indicates the likely presence of a narcotic.
The Herosol spray test consists of spraying the liquid onto a testing strip, which also changes colour. But the Heresol test only reveals the presence of an "alkaloid-based substance," Newman told the judge — not heroin, necessarily.
Alkaloids are organic compounds that contain nitrogen and include caffeine, nicotine and morphine. Heroin is derived from morphine.
At the bail hearing, Tokaruk said Goodin was issued an order of detainment from the Canadian Border Services Agency, on top of the criminal charges laid by the RCMP. If she had been able to satisfy the bail conditions imposed by the judge, Goodin still wouldn't have been able to walk free. Asked about the specifics of the detainment order, Newman said it was on immigration grounds.
Tokaruk said that as a Crown agent, she wasn't allowed to speak with the media.
At the bail hearing, Martin granted Goodin bail, conditional on a surety (like a guarantor) able to back her up with $15,000 in assets. Goodin's daughters were unable to act as her surety because most of their assets are on a First Nations reserve, thus untouchable by the province.
Newman asked Martin to name one of Goodin's daughters as her surety, which would have waived the requirement for them to prove their assets, but Martin denied that request.
Updated on Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 3:02 PM CDT: Clarifies reference to lawyer.