Smuggler for Hire

Testing the general theory that former poachers make the best game wardens, one man in Canada is using advertising to orchestrate a remarkable comeback from the depths of a prison cell.

Brian O’Dea, a 52-year-old man from Newfoundland, was no friend to the U.S. in the 1980s, running a drug ring that smuggled tons of marijuana into the country. Having completed a 10-year jail sentence, though, he is advertising his skills in Canada’s National Post in the hopes of finding a more legitimate job.

The four-inch, 33-line classified ad, which ran all last week under the simple heading “Former Marijuana Smuggler,” outlined O’Dea’s management acumen. “Owned and operated a successful fishing business—multi-vessel, one airplane, one island processing facility,” the ad read in part. “During this time, I … also participated in the executive-level management of 120 people worldwide, in a successful pot smuggling venture with revenues in excess of US$100 million annually.”

The ad, which cost O’Dea US$850, is already paying off. He reportedly received half a dozen job offers right off the bat—including, inexplicably, that of television chef. He is also being flooded by interview requests from the media. “I couldn’t buy this kind of attention,” he told the Post. “I couldn’t afford it.” K

Mark Bartlett, the U.S. lawyer who prosecuted O’Dea, is listed among his references. DON FARRALL/PHOTO DISC