Brenda Martin in and out of prison since parole
Brenda Martin, a Canadian who spent two years in a Mexican prison for her part in a highly publicized case of money laundering and was later flown home in a government-chartered jet, has been in and out of prison since returning to Canada, a National Parole Board document shows.
The 53-year-old was sentenced to five years in prison in April 2008 by Mexican authorities after having spent more than two years in a Guadalajara-area jail waiting for her case to wind its way through the local courts.
Media coverage of her detention elicited an outpouring of public sympathy that prompted the Canadian government to arrange for her to serve the rest of her term in Canada, where she was flown on a private jet May 1, 2008.
A week after her return, she was released from the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont., and granted full parole. But since then, she has continued to run into trouble with the law, the parole board document obtained by CBC News shows.
Most of the incidents involved drinking and disorderly conduct even though her parole conditions included abstaining from alcohol.
In January, Martin's parole was suspended, and she was sent back to the women's prison after she was arrested for public intoxication. She told authorities she was depressed and lonely because no one had acknowledged her birthday, according to the document.
In March, she appeared before the parole board for a post-suspension hearing where she again denied having a drinking problem.
About a week ago, the parole board decided to again release Martin into the community, but it ordered her to undergo psychiatric counselling. Martin is living at a halfway house of her choosing, the board said.
She must also abstain from alcohol and stay away from drinking establishments. If she violates those conditions, she could again be sent back to prison, the board said.
Martin will remain on parole until her sentence expires in February 2011.
The original money laundering charges against Martin stemmed from her connection to Alyn Richard Waage, a former Edmonton resident for whom she worked for in Mexico and who in 2006 was sentenced to 10 years in prison for running an online investment scam.