Locked Up Abroad question

Locked Up Abroad is the American version of Banged Up Abroad. (Personally, I like the original name better. :stuck_out_tongue: ) The episode that’s on right now depicts this situation:

A guy from Tennessee moves to Florida. He meets a girl who is crying, so he offers to let her stay in his trailer. He falls in love with her. She convinces him to go to South America (or Central America – I’ve not been paying close attention) to get some cocaine. The guy doesn’t want to, but goes along to ‘look out for her’ on the condition that he not carry any drugs. They get there, and they are separated; the excuse being that if she is caught the guy will not be arrested as well. The guy is about to call her one morning, when there is a knock at the door. The Angry Drug Dealer says that the girl was supposed to go into the airport, buy a ticket, and come out. She never came out. So now Tennessee Guy has to carry the drugs. TNG tells ADD it’s not his problem. ADD has a gun and insists it is TNG’s problem.

The show’s half-over, so I don’t know exactly what happens next; but usually the mule gets to the airport, gets nervous, and then gets arrested. The rest of the show shows what happens after the arrest. Goes down pretty much the same most of the time.

So here’s the question: Why don’t these people just approach Security and tell them they’ve been forced to carry drugs? In TNG’s case, he really was coerced at gunpoint. Wouldn’t it be better to turn yourself in (after experiencing ill-treatment from the drug dealers) and tell them you were coerced? How can they think they’ll get away with it?

Because people are stupid.
I love watching that show and am constantly amazed how there is the attitude that “I am invincible” when young and stupid.

I don’t know if you saw the episode where they were to smuggle gold from Hong Kong to Nepal…seems harmless enough (just gold, not drugs), big reward when done, nice stay at a luxury hotel…needless to say, it didn’t end well.
I gave this example to students in one of my classes - played the guy who would pay them to smuggle the gold.
Out of about 20 students, 6 said they would do it. None of them asked about the laws in Hong Kong or Nepal - none of them worried about being caught. They all saw dollar signs in their eyes and a free trip to a nice hotel with a pool.

In your particular episode (don’t think I have seen that one), I am sure the person involved will mention why he didn’t just turn himself in - but again, stupid stupid stupid.

Also, in some places with corrupt police, a smuggler will have a deal with them - they overlook his travels, meanwhile he gives them some cash and also occasionally sends them some stooge as a ‘fall guy’ so they seem like they are doing their job when they have a few successful arrests.

I saw that episode on DVD, borrowed from the library. Dude was very in love with the girl and never realized she duped him until some of his fellow prisoners told him it was a common scheme. But I think you answered your question about turning one’s self in when you mentioned ADD’s with guns. Even if the overseas authorities believed your story and sent you back to the U.S. uncharged, there might be an ADDw/G stateside ready to hunt you down for not doing the job and jeopardizing the operation. You probably wouldn’t get any significant police protection unless you were part of a bigger bust of a major smuggling ring.

Locked Up Abroad is my favorite TV show of all time. Even though we KNOW that the hammer is going to come down on these drug smugglers (after all, the show is not called Almost Locked Up Abroad or Rich From Muling Drugs), I am transfixed each and every time, surprised and somewhat disappointed when the plans all go awry. I, too, often wondered why the innocents did not just go to the embassy or the police, until I saw the episode about the South African father who agreed to smuggle drugs from South America when his ex-wife moved their young son halfway around the world. That guy realized it was a mistake, and he ditched the drugs. The drug dealers met his plane, escorted him at gunpoint to a car, and drove him to a medical facility. They told him in no uncertain terms that they would remove his kidneys, etc and sell them on the black market. If he did not agree, they would pick up all of his family members–they had all their names and addresses in a notebook, and they read them to him–and remove their organs to sell on the black market. If he did not want either of those things to happen, he had to return to Peru (I think) and smuggle the drugs. He agreed to smuggle the drugs, even though it was pretty obvious to him that he was being set up to be the patsy who got arrested so the other smugglers could walk unscathed through the airport.

There was an episode set in Jamaica where the American woman who was to smuggle the marijuana met with the supplier at a fast food restaurant. She loudly asked to see the weed, and then held it high for all to see while laughing about smoking some, the supplier grabbed it away from her in total shock and asked if she was insane and wanted them all to go to prison.:eek::mad::eek:

She then said she thought marijuana was legal in Jamaica or something, the supplier emphatically stated that is not the case and possession carried something like a 20 year sentence with hard labor.


I can’t tell you how many Americans and other foreigners think marijuana is legal in Jamaica and other Carribean countries, it isn’t! Penalties are far harsher than in the USA, decades long sentences for possession including actual hard labor usually. Granted Americans and other tourists usually pay a fine if they are arrested at all, but it is still annoying.

I like watching this show as well–but I have an observation. The tone of the show seems to be very sympathetic to the stooge who spent time in prison for a crime that he/she did commit. What’s up with this? I’m sitting there watching some entitled jerk complain about harsh conditions, abusive guards, etc., and never once do they act sorry for what they did. Anyone else?

Its because it all isn’t real to them somehow, you can tell by the stooge and the show’s reaction. Haha that wacky country locks people up for smuggling drugs, god speed home from that third world hellhole dude.:dubious:

I don’t expect apologies but I would enjoy it if the show would give some sense of how their sentence compares to what a local would have gotten. I also thought it would be interesting to see the stories of foreigners locked up in the USA or Europe, the show might as well be Americans Locked Up Abroad :slight_smile:

I agree, the way the show is produced, with the perps’ first-hand retelling of how they got talked into it, all their anxiety/dread leading up to the bust and then the suffering afterwards tends to evoke sympathy for them. Which may be wrong but I also think it does a good service in demonstrating to viewers that drug smuggling is not a good idea and can have serious consequences.