A New Hiding Place for Firearms?



Searching arrestees
is certainly not a fun part of the policing job:





HOUSTON -- A nearly 600-pound man was able to hide a weapon for more than a day while he was in custody, police told KPRC Local 2 Wednesday.

"Obviously the system broke down," former Harris County Detention Major Mark Kellar said. "The procedures didn't work as they were designed to work."

Houston police said George Vera, 25, was arrested Aug. 2 and taken to the city jail.

He spent a day there before being transferred to the Harris County Jail. After being there for 14 hours, going through intake procedures, he was taken to the showers, the final step before going to his cell. There, Vera told police he had a 9mm handgun on him, along with 2 clips.

"If a person has a weapon, narcotics, anything of danger, it should have been found before he winds up in the county jail," said Kellar.

Kellar said Vera should have been searched at least three times before getting to the jail.

Vera weighs nearly 600 pounds and the gun was allegedly hidden between fat layers.

Houston Police Officers Union President Gary Blankinship said cadets are trained how to search morbidly obese people.

"We teach officers to lift up and look under," Blankinship said. "The officer may not have arrested anyone this big before..."


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If the training academy in sunny Houston does not cover searching obese defendants, you can be certain a couple of minutes on the topic have now been added to the curriculum.

I am not sure if the image of being able to hide a 9 mm handgun and two clips as described is more impressive or disturbing.

Note: The defendant's image was used from this site.

15 comments:

Steve and Rina said...

I'm impressed and disturbed at this one! :)

CK Lunchbox said...

My wife and I were shaking our heads when we read this one. At least he won't make a run for it.

I have a friend on the HPD force. The guy is hilarious in his observations about work, and I'm waiting for his commentary on said matter.

Reggie said...

Giggle... that was very funny. :-D

But I do feel very sorry for the policemen who actually have to conduct such searches. It must take a lot of inner strength not to feel repulsed or sickened by where people hide 'stuff'.

Expat From Hell said...

Being one of the most obese cities in the USA (which means also on earth), Houston may be hiding a lot more than we realize!
Great post...as always, food for thought. As if we Texans need any more food.

EFH

Stephanie Faris said...

LOL. That's very disturbing. I can see why officers missed it. Ick.

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Gross!

Chrissy said...

They're doing an internal investigation? Maybe if they had done that in the first place...

Natalie said...

Shudder...I don't even have a clever quip to describe how gross that is...

It reminds me of a few cases my hubby had to handle recently which involved morbidly obese bodies that were naked and dead, half-naked and alive (sitting on the toilet), etc...

Just glad he didn't have this case!

MK said...

In the officers defense, would you like to go poking around in the nether regions of a fat, sweaty fellow.

Sandra G. said...

I used to work for the Corrections Branch up here in Canada and we were taught how to search very obese people - not fun, for either you or the person being searched.

You want to ensure you glove up before hand.

mappchik said...

Think I should let my son read this.

He has many qualities and strengths that make encouraging him in his exploration of becoming an LEO in the future, except for what's most required for this situation... a STRONG STOMACH.

fayezie said...

i am impressed, but also disturbed. meh, anything is possible, and typically isn't that the LED perspective on handling situations of any kind?

kinda off topic, but i was wondering recently if a person (namely a terrorist) could swallow an explosive device that could be carried in the gut (thus undetectable) and be detonated....

(yeah yeah, i know it's a weird random thought, but the fat rolls reminded me of the thought.)

Slamdunk said...

Interesting thought Faye. Though not an explosives expert, my answer is: yes, I am sure an explosive device exists that could be swallowed and used later by terrorists.

Metal detectors and other devices used to screen for explosives would be not be affected by the swallowing--they would still identify the danger.

Hand searches, as in this case, can be a different story.

angelcel said...

Yes you mentioned metal detectors and I was wondering why these aren't routinely used in police stations. That and a sniffer dog would solve this problem...wouldn't it?

Slamdunk said...

Good point Angelcel. The arresting officer(s) would have been the only searchers to have not used a metal detector with the defendant.

There is variance by facility, but once he was processed in either of the two jails that he spent time in, I would have expected for him to pass through a metal detector either a handheld one or a stationary device. That has to be the most concerning for jailers.