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Saturday, April 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Woman who smuggled monkey in 2007 dies after rollover

A woman who smuggled a monkey from Thailand to Spokane in 2007 died when her truck went off the road four miles south of Northport on Tuesday night, authorities said.

Gypsy R. Lawson, 31, of Northport, Wash., was driving south on state Route 25 around midnight, when her 1986 Nissan pickup went off the road to the right in a left-hand curve, the Washington State Patrol reported. The pickup rolled over and struck trees. The crash was not discovered until morning.

Lawson, who was not wearing a seat belt, died at the scene.

Lawson and her mother, Fran Ogren, of Northport, were convicted of smuggling an exotic monkey into the United States by a federal jury in December 2008.

Lawson hid the young rhesus macaque monkey under her blouse and pretended to be pregnant while passing through U.S. customs after visiting Thailand in November 2007.

Lawson was sentenced to 60 days in federal prison, followed by three years probation. She was awaiting a probation revocation hearing scheduled for Sept. 13.

Her probation officer said in court documents filed in April that Lawson had failed to pay anything toward her $4,507 fine since August 2011 and had not found a job as required. She also failed to complete any of her required 88 hours of community service.

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