Friday, April 3, 2009

The Carrier

Milo spoke no English. His chart said that he was nineteen but he looked twelve. Slim, small boned, frail, curled up in a fetal position on his bed weeping. I asked Joe, a twenty year old Latino to translate. Joe helped Milo into his wheel chair and came into my office. Between sobs, Milo told me that he had just arrived from Venezuela, his first time in the United States. He said that he collapsed in the airport. At the hospital they removed balloons filled with heroin. Two of the balloons had burst. Naturally he was arrested immediately. According to Milo, he had been forced to swallow the heroin by a drug dealer in Venezuela who told him that he had seen the dealer's face and now he had no choice. The dealer also told that there was a contract on his life if the delivery did not take place. The police told Milo that he would get a fifteen year sentence. Milo was terrified. His mother was hysterical. She had no idea that her son was carrying drugs. I went to speak to my friendly drug dealer in the next dorm. He said that it sounded as if Milo was carrying about a million dollars worth of heroin. He thought that it was possible that there was a contract out on his life but if he kept his mouth shut he would be OK because the danger came from the Venezuelans, not the locals. As far as the sentence, my friend said that it was more likely that he would get six months and then be deported because it was cheaper for our government than keeping him in prison. He said that he was pretty sure that Milo would be all right but he would check around outside. A few days later, my friend confirmed his information and that somehow he was allowed to talk to Milo and reassure him. It is important to know where to go to for expert advice.

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