Doctors found something shocking in the body of a Polish man who collapsed at Miami International Airport.
Waldemar Wojtczak, 45, was on a flight from Trinidad, with a layover in Miami, before his final destination of Finland on Sept. 4.
He fell unconscious at the airport and was sent to the hospital where doctors removed half a kilo – over a pound -- of cocaine from his stomach.
In spite of the fact that he does not speak English, Wojtczack succeeded in telling a doctor that he had ingested cocaine, reports Miami Herald.
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The Polish man remained in an intensive care unit for days with the cocaine still inside him before doctors decided to perform surgery.
The surgeons discovered 53 tiny rubber sacks inside Wojtczak’s belly. The pellets were immediately confiscated by Miami-Dade narcotics detectives, who were present during the entire operation.
Wojtczak nearly died from ingesting the illicit drugs. He has since recuperated and was officially charged on Oct. 17 with cocaine trafficking and the rare state charge of using commercial transport while committing a felony, according to Miami Herald.
Wojtczak used a Polish translator to plead not guilty at his indictment.
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“Drug mules” are passengers who swallow drugs. They usually come from Latin America, traveling to the U.S., and have been a common occurrence in South Florida.
But Wojtczak’s case is strange because he is a Polish national and spoke no English. Wojtczak’s passport records indicate he had previously traveled similar short trips from Poland, according to a report by Miami-Dade Detective Kiriakos Beruty.
The drugs were meant to be sold in Finland – which has some of the highest cocaine prices in the world -- and have a street value of around $53,000, based on figures from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
In 2002, a 12-year-old Nigerian boy was caught trying to smuggle 87 condoms filled with heroin that he had swallowed, according to New York Times.
He became sick while riding a cab through Brooklyn and Queens on the way to the airport. The driver noticed the boy was ill and took him to the Port Authority police desk at La Guardia Airport, where authorities called the ambulance.
He was taken to the hospital and later charged with juvenile delinquency possession of a controlled and dangerous substance.