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Turkey mas shady pals; Hung with bad guys: feds (Drug Mule?)
NY Post ^ | 2/6/13 | JOSH MARGOLIN and JEANE MACINTOSH

Posted on 02/06/2013 5:21:59 AM PST by jimbo123

FBI agents probing the murder of a Staten Island mom in Turkey said they don’t believe she was there just to take pictures — and said she hung out with a “criminal element” during the solo trip abroad.

“There are a lot of open questions that need to be answered,” a source familiar with the ongoing case told The Post.

Mother of two Sarai Sierra, 33, was found dead from a ferocious blow to the skull in a seedy area of Istanbul last Saturday after failing to show up for a Jan. 21 flight home to New York.

“The first people she met up with were a criminal element,” the source said of Sierra, who flew to Turkey Jan. 7, then to Amsterdam on Jan. 15 and Munich on Jan. 16 before heading back to Istanbul Jan. 19.

The FBI is in Turkey investigating the case, and is looking into a possible connection to drug trafficking — among other lines of inquiry, a source said.

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: sarai; saraisierra; turkey
Additionally, there is speculation is that her handlers in Turkey also gutted her to remove any contraband she had swallowed for them, too. It will be interesting to find out what really happened over there.
1 posted on 02/06/2013 5:22:07 AM PST by jimbo123
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To: jimbo123
It is hard to imagine that her husband had no idea what was going on.

A 33 year old unemployed mother of 2 takes off for a three week vacation to Europe while her "cash-strapped" bus driver husband stays home with the kids. That's odd.

She wants to go because she's an avid amateur photographer and sees the trip as a great opportunity to enjoy her hobby. But she takes no camera with her, instead emailing home photos taken with an iPad and a Samsung smartphone.

Rather than flying to Amsterdam and then to Turkey, she flies directly to Turkey and then flies from Istanbul to Amsterdam and then back to Istanbul - an unnecessarily expensive itinerary for someone on a budget who is staying in a hostel.

The only way this makes sense is if she is a drug mule.

2 posted on 02/06/2013 5:41:55 AM PST by wideawake
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To: jimbo123

Of course,most of the local media is reporting none of this.


3 posted on 02/06/2013 6:08:27 AM PST by Dr. Ursus
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To: jimbo123

She should have taken The Midnight Express.


4 posted on 02/06/2013 6:17:04 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: jimbo123

She planned to stay for three weeks, eh? Well, she may well be there that long until they raise the funds to get her body shipped back.

This is a strange but incomplete story. Her email, text messages and social media posts should point the family and investigators in the right direction.


5 posted on 02/06/2013 6:19:04 AM PST by citizen (We get the government we choose. America either voted for Obama or handed it to him by not voting.)
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To: wideawake

It certainly does sound as if something criminal was involved, if not drugs, perhaps serving as a courier of illegal funds in other criminal transactions.

The “photography” claim was clearly false, and now it also turns out that her friend (who was supposed to accompany her) didn’t back out of the trip at the last minute, but actually told her quite some time ago that she wouldn’t be able to go with her.

She sounds to me like somebody who was probably pretty naive and got into something way over her head, probably through one of her internet contacts.


6 posted on 02/06/2013 6:22:55 AM PST by livius
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To: citizen

I’m sure the husband knew exactly what was going on up until she disappeared. And he was probably aware that things were starting to go bad because he tried to get her back to the U.S. a couple days earlier than planned. That’s probably when they killed her after they found out she was trying to change her flight back and slip out of Istanbul early.


7 posted on 02/06/2013 6:28:48 AM PST by jimbo123
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To: jimbo123

This one is simple. She was having an affair, possibly with someone she met on the internet. Guy got what he wanted and killed her.(or didn’t get what he wanted)


8 posted on 02/06/2013 6:29:15 AM PST by refermech
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To: refermech

She was a contraband mule. And her husband knew what she was doing.


9 posted on 02/06/2013 6:34:09 AM PST by jimbo123
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To: Dr. Ursus

I think the FBI is interested in finding out who she was supposed to meet at Newark airport when she was to arrive back in the U.S. with whatever she was supposed to be carrying.


10 posted on 02/06/2013 6:36:45 AM PST by jimbo123
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To: jimbo123

The husband has probably said to himself a hundred times “Why did I let her travel alone?” That indeed is the question. It is better to have an angry wife (or ex) than a dead one.


11 posted on 02/06/2013 6:38:02 AM PST by citizen (We get the government we choose. America either voted for Obama or handed it to him by not voting.)
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To: jimbo123

Ah, I see. You figure they were hurting for cash and this was some sort of a planned drug-connected hook up to make money? Well, whatever the “plan” was that was discussed on the internet, it appears to have changed for the worse for the woman.


12 posted on 02/06/2013 6:51:00 AM PST by citizen (We get the government we choose. America either voted for Obama or handed it to him by not voting.)
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To: citizen

Actually, it would be an interesting plot for a movie. Especially when things started to unravel. With her in Turkey and her husband in NYC. I think it was her first trip overseas, too.


13 posted on 02/06/2013 6:55:00 AM PST by jimbo123
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To: wideawake

My daughter is an amateur photographer but she has some pretty sophisticated camera equipment. I’ve never seen her use her phone or IPad to take pictures. She also has an 11 year old and a 9 year old and wouldn’t leave them for a minute to travel alone, abroad. This story stinks to high heaven.
I think she thought she had found a way to make some substantial money.


14 posted on 02/06/2013 7:46:19 AM PST by surrey
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To: surrey

Phone cameras are great and getting better but any serious amateur photographer would have an SLR camera and probably at least a standard and a telephoto lens. Similar to the film camera equipment of years ago but today they are digital.

Going on a memorable first overseas trip for the purported reason of picture taking and using only a phone camera is beyond ridiculous. She could have bought (or charged) a low-end SLR digital camera for a few hundred dollars.


15 posted on 02/06/2013 8:25:12 AM PST by citizen (We get the government we choose. America either voted for Obama or handed it to him by not voting.)
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To: surrey

Yes. I assumed from the moment I heard of it either she was nuts, in love with a crazed muslim, or involved in crime or terrorism. A normal person would not do this.


16 posted on 02/06/2013 8:32:44 AM PST by PghBaldy (12/14 - 930am -rampage begins... 12/15 - 1030am - Obama's advance team scouts photo-op locations.)
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To: jimbo123
According to the NY Post account, a law enforcement source said the husband was "cooperating but not helping" - he is holding out on the police.

I wonder if he went public with this because he figured it was better to risk going to jail than end up like his wife.

17 posted on 02/06/2013 9:20:33 AM PST by wideawake
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To: surrey
Exactly.

My wife is an amateur photographer too. When we went to Europe on vacation she brought a separate carry-on bag with her cameras and her set of lenses, plus other equipment, and checked her tripod.

Sarai Sierra was a photography enthusiast like President Obama is a skeet enthusiast.

18 posted on 02/06/2013 9:25:30 AM PST by wideawake
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To: wideawake
Rather than flying to Amsterdam and then to Turkey, she flies directly to Turkey and then flies from Istanbul to Amsterdam and then back to Istanbul - an unnecessarily expensive itinerary for someone on a budget who is staying in a hostel.

That was my thought precisely when details of her itinerary began to emerge a few days ago. Also in her picture, taken by a Istanbul street security cam, I saw no cameras ... strange if the reason for the trip was to take pictures as a amateur photographer. Bottom line she is probably a drug mule, or works for a escort service and met a Turkish client who encouraged her to travel to Istanbul.

19 posted on 02/06/2013 9:33:59 AM PST by BluH2o
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To: wideawake

I am an amateur photographer mom- I only can take pics in between holding kids hands. I still travel w at least a dslr and a second lens. Without kids, I would have hands/time for setting up more. The whole story has stunk from the get-go.


20 posted on 02/06/2013 5:39:33 PM PST by conservative cat
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To: Dr. Ursus

This story is disappearing rapidly.


21 posted on 02/06/2013 5:40:46 PM PST by conservative cat
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To: citizen
The husband has probably said to himself a hundred times “Why did I let her travel alone?”

My wife and I were in Istanbul this past fall. It was teeming with tourists, long lines at the popular tourist attractions. My wife commented on different occasions on the number of men that hang out together on the streets of Istanbul. But with the multitude of tourists it blended in to some extent. January, one of the slowest tourist months, a single women would stand out ... no question. She apparently fell in with the wrong people.

22 posted on 02/07/2013 6:17:22 AM PST by BluH2o
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