Mint Worker Who Smuggled Gold in Butt Sentenced
After prison, he needs to get $145K from somewhere
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2017 2:20 AM CST
Lawrence worked at purifying gold in an area that wasn't covered by security cameras.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – A Canadian man who smuggled $145,000 in gold out of the country's mint is on his way to prison—and will probably be searched extremely thoroughly on the way in. Leston Lawrence, found guilty in November of smuggling 22 gold "pucks" out of the Royal Canadian Mint in his rectum, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay his former employers the full market value of the stolen gold, the CBC reports. Ontario Judge Peter Doody ruled that if the 35-year-old can't come up with the money within three years of getting out of prison, he'll have to go back behind bars for another 30 months.

Lawrence—who set off metal detectors at work many times but always passed searches with a handheld wand—was convicted of conveying gold out of the mint, breach of trust by a public official, and possession of property obtained by crime, reports the BBC. Prosecutors said he used the $100,000 or so he made from selling the gold to Ottawa Gold Buyers to buy a house in Jamaica and a boat in Florida. Investigators, first alerted by a suspicious bank teller, found Vaseline and rubber gloves in Lawrence's work locker. In his safe deposit box at a bank, they discovered four unsold gold pucks, which had about the same diameter as a golf ball and matched the size of the ladle Lawrence used to test gold at the mint, Radio Canada International reports. (You'll never guess how this teen tried to smuggle a gun.)

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