Cops: Mint Worker Smuggled Out $135K in Gold —in His Butt

Leston Lawrence is accused of stealing a lot of precious metal in Canada
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2016 7:55 AM CDT
Cops: Mint Worker Smuggled Out $135K in Gold —in His Butt
Don't try this with gold bars.   (AP Photo)

A man whose job was to test gold for purity at the Royal Canadian Mint is accused of stealing $135,000 in precious metal—in his rectum. Leston Lawrence, 35, was known to set off the Mint's metal detectors more often than most, but he always passed a search with a hand-held wand, according to prosecutors. They say that's because Lawrence smuggled coins and 18 unmarked gold nuggets out of the Mint hidden in his rectum, then took them to a gold buyer, where he received checks for about $5,000 per piece between November 2014 and March 2015, reports the Ottawa Citizen. After noticing the high number of checks, however, a bank teller discovered Lawrence worked at the Mint and alerted authorities, prosecutors say.

The Mint—where "gold is left sitting around in open buckets," says Lawrence's lawyer, Gary Barnes—could find no record of the alleged thefts, but investigators say they found four nuggets in Lawrence's possession after executing a search warrant. The nuggets are in the shape of the Mint's "dipping spoon," which is not available commercially, notes the newspaper. Investigators also found Vaseline in Lawrence's work locker. A security employee proved one could pass a security check with a hand-held wand while smuggling gold via the butt, investigators say. Still, Barnes argues there's no proof Lawrence's gold came from the Mint, per the Toronto Sun. He's charged with theft, laundering the proceeds of crime, possession of stolen property, and breach of trust. A decision is expected Nov. 9. (Your butt is welcome to touch this gold toilet.)

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