Stephen John Sutton
Stephen John Sutton [born 1964] is an Australian citizen currently imprisoned in Marcos Paz, Argentina.

According to media, he was detained on February 4, 2003 with nine others in a raid by a joint Argentine- Australian team codenamed 'Operation Kangaroo' whereby twelve kilos of cocaine intended for sale in Australia was seized.

Stephen John Sutton has no prior criminal record, and according to his family, has never been in trouble with the law before now. He was sentenced by the court in 2005, to serve an 11 year sentence for drug related offences.

Stephen Sutton - Update November 2008

We have just received a report that Stephen has been returned to Australia under prisoner transfer agreement.

The FPSS wishes Stephen success in his life now that he has been returned to Australian soil.

Update from Stephen Sutton - 11 December 2007

FPSS volunteer Advocate - Kay Danes, received a wonderfully crafted letter from Stephen Sutton recently [sent 4 November 2007] and part of that letter is below. The rest of the letter is private and reveals Stephen's fears in regards to how he will reintegrate into society. FPSS will of course give Stephen every assistance as per his request and are presently writing to the Australian Attorney General to clarify some of his concerns.

Appeal for Stephen.... If people would like to assist Stephen Sutton in rebuilding his life upon his return to Australia then please email us. Stephen will need the support of many people to get his life back on track; medical treatment, pyscological support and financial assistance. We would welcome support from all areas as far too often people, especially prisoners, find it difficult to reintegrate into society. If they have positive, caring people around them who are willing to give them another chance.... then there's always hope that they will go on to live more meaningful lives.

Extract from Stephen's latest letter...

'... I'd like to say thank you to you and everybody who have sent letters and kindness to me. For it has helped me considerably in my time of need. Please if possible, thank everyone for me and let them know that when I am back home that I promise to write to everyone who has written to me here in Marcos Paz Prison... everybody will have changed in 5 1/2 years... I thank everybody for what you all have been doing for me... thank you so much....'
best regards Stephen Sutton.

Stephen Sutton - Update 25 August 2007

Currently Stephen is required to pay a fine of AUD $3500 before he can depart Argentina next year 2008. If you would like to contribute any support to this, given that Stephen has no way of paying the compensation himself, the please contact us.

Thank you to those members who continue to write to Stephen and offer encouragement!

Stephen Sutton Update - Campaign Update 02 May 2007

Recently FPSS wrote to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [DFAT] offering support to Stephen Sutton. With consideration to the Privacy Act, we respectfully asked DFAT to notify Stephen of our continued willingness to assist him where possible. We offered support in relation to both the compensation that is to be paid; and offered to assist Stephen in accessing our network of professional pyscologists and counsellors should he require their services upon repatriation.

DFAT's response was both immediate and encouraging. The initial point of contact in DFAT responded to our request within 30 minutes. It was then forwarded to the appropriate department Manager who generated a positive response within two hours. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to DFAT for their consideration.

We are also pleased that another FPSS member has recently agreed to correspond with Stephen. We hope that this support will assist leading up to Stephen's eventual repatriation to Australia.

Stephen Sutton Update - Update 01 May 2007

Previously Stephen's sentence was 11 years but we are now aware that his release date has been moved forward to June 2008. In accordance with the judgement of the Court, he will be required to pay compensation in the amount of 7.000 Argentinian Pesos (about AUD$3,500 ).

If you would like to assist Stephen please contact us here.

Stephen Sutton Update - November 27, 2006

Stephen is reportedly well and continuing to receive ongoing medical care. His health is much better now and he wishes to extend his heartfelt thanks to everyone who has sent him letters of support. Stephen has had no recent visitors but would appreciate a visit if anyone is passing through Argentina. It was confirmed on 27 June 2006, that Stephen's appeal against his conviction was unsuccessful. The appeal Court upheld the Judge's decision that found Stephen guilty for being "a member of an illegal international syndicate with the intention of trafficking narcotics for commercial purposes". Stephen has now exhausted all available legal avenues. The Australian Embassy continue to provide consular support to Stephen and are monitoring his ongoing health and welfare issues.

FPSS have learned that Stephen's sister [Ann Cluse] is about to undergo an operation in hospital. We wish Ann a speedy recovery and hope that she is back on her feet and in good health again quickly.

    Send to:
    Modulo 2 Pabellon 3
    Complejo Penitenciario Fedral 11
    Acceso Zavala Circumvalacion Tercera
    Parcela 191 Marcos Paz
    (1727) Pcia de Buenos Aires

All Care packages should be addressed to Stephen Sutton and sent to the PRISON and NOT via the Australian Consulate. As a general rule, Foreign Offices like AUS DFAT, UK FCO, US ACS ... are not responsible for delivering care packages to prisoners, particularly when prisons facilitate this type of service. There are rules that everyone, including the Embassy must follow.

Marcoz Paz prison facilitates a fairly reliable postal service for prisoners, inclusive care package delivery. Authorities have established this service in accordance with strict national security guidelines and expect those utilizing this valuable service to do so appropriately. Care Packages arrive at the prison and undergo screening for security reasons. Prison authorities notify the prisoner that a package has arrived and the prisoner is called to attend the opening of their package. This is a serious process and designed to protect both prison staff and prisoners. If items are inappropriate then the prison authority will take the necessary action to protect the integrity of the penitentiary. Items may be returned to sender. The prisoner will be advised to notify the sender in due course, as appropriate. To be sure that your care package is accepted, please check with the prisoner first on what you can and cannot send, PRIOR to sending. All approved items must be sealed and tamper proof. No item should be sent that could be used to harm another person.

Argentinean Postal Service
The main postal service company of Argentina is the Correo Central, however; there are other private postal services that function similarly and have various branches throughout the country. A couple of them are Oca and Servicor. A letter can take anywhere from 6 to 15 days to arrive from most countries to Buenos Aires and then from there, redirected to the destination. Sealing postcards in an envelope is recommended so that they arrive faster. One can also send mail using the express service which takes up to 5 days to arrive to any international destination. As with all postal services, the Argentinean Postal Service, does not give any guarantee that your care package or letters will be delivered to Marcos Paz Prison.

Salvation Army Deliveries

The Salvation Army visits prisoners on a scheduled basis throughout Argentina and may be contacted for further advice.

The Salvation Army
Maza 2258
1240 Buenos Aires, Argentina
tel: (11) 4912 0840/41/42
fax: (11) 4912 2808
International headquarters:

Sending letters and care packages via the Family

Stephen Sutton's sister will accept care packages and letters.

Address details are:

    Mrs Ann Cluse
    20 Leslie McIntyre Ave
    Salisbury Downs,
    South Australia 5108 Australia

Official Stephen Sutton Website

Mrs. Ann Cluse [Stephen's sister] has established a website for her brother. If you would like these details then please email her directly: The views and opinions expressed at the Sutton Website are those of the authors only and do not represent, and should not be attributed to, FPSS or its advocates.

Financial Support

Mrs. Ann Cluse has established an account for Stephen should anyone wish to provide financial support. Please be advised that Foreign Prisoner Support Service is not able to accept funds for Stephen Sutton.

Stephen Sutton Fund
Salisbury CPS Credit Union
B.S.B no: 805-022
Account no: 22466666

Cheques and/or Money orders can be posted directly to:

Mrs Ann Cluse
20 Leslie McIntyre Ave
Salisbury Downs,
South Australia 5108 Australia

Note: The Argentinean authorities require Stephen Sutton to pay the sum of AUD$3460.00 as imposed on him by the court. If anyone would like to assist the family in meeting these costs then please direct your enquiry to Mrs. Ann Cluse. Thank-you!


For several years now, FPSS has done a great deal to promote positive support for Stephen Sutton. We have sent letters to the Australian Government alerting them to our concerns for his general well being. We've written letters to Amnesty International notifying them that he is detained in Marcos Paz. We've assigned researchers to investigate information that might be useful in gaining a better understanding of the environment where he is detained. We've contacted Legal representatives to offer advice to his family if required. We've also sought advice from the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Prison Chaplaincy Services, Non-government Organisations and other like minded human rights groups. We have spoken at length with Stephen's legal representative, Dr Anibal Gilardenghi, and the Consular Services [DFAT] which enabled us to learn how best we could support Stephen. We arranged for 'in-country' support to Stephen through our FPSS members who have relatives in the region. This helped him cope emotionally throughout the difficult ordeal of sentencing and helped to establish more effective contact with his family in Australia. Above all, our commitment has been genuine and we hope that when you write, you will let Stephen know that you came across his details at our website. We also appreciate any feedback you provide!


The Australian Government has supported Stephen's request for financial assistance under the Australian Government Prisoner Loan Scheme. An amount per month is deposited by the Commonwealth into the official prisoner account held at the prison. These funds enable Stephen to purchase basic supplies that will sustain him throughout his internment. The Prisoner Loan Scheme was established in 1994, and is operational in several countries including Kenya, Benin, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Peru, Ecuador, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia and Laos. It is a vital service that has greatly assisted many Australians detained throughout the world. Loans under the Prisoner Loan Scheme can not be obtained to cover legal costs or bail. Loans must be repaid after the detainee is released from prison.

This type of loan can only be arranged if a detainee or prisoner is destitute and:

  • equate medical facilities and other essentials (such as bedding, clothing and soap) are not provided by the prison; and
  • the prisoner is unable to organise for a loan to be provided from family or friends. The maximum of each loan for Australian prisoners is AUD125 per month for essentials and AUD20 per month for medical needs. Prisoners are required to repay any amounts they receive under the scheme, following their release from prison.

    During 2004 - 2005, the Australia Government provided assistance to 22 Australians imprisoned overseas under the Australian Government Prisoner Loans Scheme. The Australian Government issues these emergency loans according to a citizen's need and not on their ability to repay. For more information please refer: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [DFAT]


    Prisons in Argentina Click Here
    Modulo 2 Pabellon 3
    Complejo Penitenciario Fedral 11
    Acceso Zavala Circumvalacion Tercera
    Parcela 191 Marcos Paz
    (1727) Pcia de Buenos Aires

    The total number of prisoners is approx 1.447. The complex itself has five modules of residences. There are also factories including; carpentry, woodcrafts, blacksmith shop, organic orchard, press, bakery and cafeteria.

  • Related News, Resources & Information Links
  • Stephen Sutton Update 13 July 2006
  • News Update - Stephen John Sutton Case
    Click Here for Australian Government contact information
    Click Here for prisons in Argentina
  • Stephen Sutton Case Update July 2005
  • Lithgow man forgotten in an Argentine jail
  • Family plea for inmate in Argentina


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  • Australian Federal Law [Privacy Act] - The Information Privacy Principles are the base line privacy standards which the Commonwealth and ACT government agencies need to comply with in relation to personal information kept in their records.

  • Argentina Information Directory

  • Amnesty International
    Amnistía Internacional - Sección Argentina
    Director Ejecutivo
    Tel: 54 11 4954 5599
    Fax: 54 11 4954 5599 ext. 13

  • Australian Embassy in Argentina
    Villanueva 1400
    Buenos Aires C1426BMJ
    Tel: 54-11 4779 3500
    Fax: 54-11 4779 3581

  • DFAT Consular Services Charter

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