LAS CRUCES, N.M. - A man being booked into the Doña Ana County Detention Center on Sunday for failure to pay fines now faces felony drug charges after booking officers noticed him allegedly trying to hide a baggie of heroin in his rectum.
Albert Sandoval, 34, of Doña Ana County, was being processed from one cell to another.
That is when an officer allegedly saw him trying to remove an object from his jail-issued shirt.
The officer ordered Sandoval to hand over the object, at which time Sandoval allegedly "tried to jam it up into his rectum" according to Dona Ana County sheriff's officials.
"When the officer physically accosted Sandoval, the inmate tried to swallow the baggie. The officer pulled Sandoval's head back to prevent swallowing and was able to snatch the baggie away despite Sandoval's struggling," according to a Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office news release.
Sandoval was taken to the jail's medical unit for evaluation before being returned to booking for further processing.
Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office deputies who investigated the incident subsequently charged Sandoval with felony heroin possession and tampering with evidence. He also faces disciplinary action for being in possession of narcotics, making a false statement to a detention officer and violating Detention Center policy.
Sandoval has been placed in disciplinary lockdown with no visitation, commissary or phone privileges.
It is the second interception of heroin at the facility within the last five days.