Colleen Shannon, former Playboy Playmate, asks for new lawyer in immigrant smuggling case

Colleen Shannon, a former Playboy Playmate, on September 20, 2006 in London, England.
Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Colleen Shannon, a former Playboy Playmate, wants a new lawyer to defend her against charges that she tried to smuggle her Canadian boyfriend across the border into New York last summer.

PICTURES: Ex-Playmate charged in immigrant smuggling case

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that a federal judge in Syracuse granted Shannon's request Tuesday to drop her lawyer and hire a new one.

The 34-year-old Los Angeles resident's trial on illegal immigrant smuggling charges was scheduled to start this week. A new start date hasn't been set.

Shannon and her boyfriend, Robert Skojo, were arrested in August in Forth Covington, N.Y., after federal agents said he entered the U.S. illegally. Officials say Skojo has a criminal record in Canada.

According to The Post-Standard of Syracuse, court documents say Skojo was convicted in 1990 of "procuring sexual services" and "living on the avails of prostitution." He also reportedly was convicted on drug charges in 1996 and 1999.

Skojo was sentenced in November to six months in jail for coming into the U.S. illegally and will face deportation upon release, the paper reports.

Shannon was the centerfold for Playboy's 50th anniversary edition in 2004 and now works as a disc jockey. If convicted, she could face up to 41 months in prison, the paper says.