NEWS

B.C. man facing extradition in PlayStation ecstasy bust

07/18/2012 12:28 EDT | Updated 09/17/2012 05:12 EDT
A B.C. man is facing extradition to Australia for smuggling of thousand of ecstasy tablets inside a PlayStation console and then allegedly flying home back to Canada just before his sentencing.

Tyson Saviro Santolla was supposed to be sentenced in Brisbane last week in connection with drug smuggling allegations. A co-accused received a three-year jail sentence but Santolla failed to appear.

According to documents filed in Richmond Provincial Court, the 22-year-old turned up at Vancouver International Airport instead. He was arrested on arrival, accused of travelling on a passport that wasn't his own and lying to immigration authorities. He's been in custody ever since.

Santolla's legal woes began in October, 2008. He and fellow Canadian Jonothan Bradley Reid were supposed to be touring a region of Australia known as Surfer's Paradise, when police intercepted a PlayStation that was headed their way.

According to a reports from Reid's sentencing last week, police found 3,364 ecstasy tablets in the game console and planted a listening device inside. They recorded the young men whooping with excitement when they went to unpack the drugs.

The justice who sentenced Reid accepted evidence that he didn't know about the importation, but was a victim of the alleged activities of others.

Still, she told Reid she was "sorry" but Australian case law dictates jail sentences for every member of a drug importation ring. Reid will be eligible for parole after serving just six months of his sentence.

The Australian court issued an arrest warrant for Santolla when he failed to show up for sentencing. He allegedly travelled to Canada on a valid Canadian passport belonging to "Taylor Santolla."

Crown prosecutors say Australia will file for his extradition in B.C. Supreme Court Wednesday. He's scheduled to have a bail hearing in Richmond Provincial Court on July 31.

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