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Orlando airport cocaine swallower sentenced

ORLANDO, Fla. — A man who attempted to board a flight from Orlando to London with 800 grams of cocaine in his digestive track was sentenced Monday to 24 months in federal prison for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation.

On July 9, ICE HSI agents encountered Barratt Eni, 54, of Little Rock, Ark., at the Orlando International Airport, where he was scheduled to board a trans-Atlantic flight to London.

According to information presented in court, Eni spoke freely with the agents and permitted a trained narcotics detection canine to inspect him and his carry-on baggage. When the canine positively alerted to the presence of narcotics on Eni's person, agents conducted a pat-down search but found nothing. When he consented to an X-ray of his body, a physician informed agents that Eni had numerous foreign bodies inside of his digestive tract. He then admitted to swallowing approximately 50 pellets containing a narcotic before flying into the Orlando airport.

Eni underwent emergency surgery to remove a total of 54 pellets from his digestive tract. It was subsequently determined that the substance in these pellets was cocaine hydrochloride with a net weight of 804.28 grams. The quantity of cocaine, the packaging and the method of concealment are consistent with cocaine distribution.

Eni, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria, said he was returning to Nigeria to attend his brother's funeral. He said that a man had offered to help pay for the funeral, but that Eni was supposed to transport drugs back to Nigeria for him in return.