Cross the border? Vaginal search

A third story from New Mexico of law enforcement performing an invasive anal, and this time vaginal, search on (this time) a woman simply because a police dog supposedly indicated that she might have drugs (she didn’t).

The woman was crossing the border from Juarez, Mexico to El Paso, Texas when supposedly a dog indicated that she might have drugs. So, they took her to a back room, made her undress, spread her legs, then had her spread open her vagina with her hands and “cough.”

Female agents then dove in with their fingers in search of drugs.

rubber-glove

And they found nothing.

So they took her to the local medical center where they x-rayed her, made her defecate in front of them, and then they did another manual search of her vagina and anus, this time, according to the report, “bi-manually” – meaning, they used both hands this time to really get inside good.

Oh, and they gave her a CAT scan too. All without permission, of course.

This isn’t the first time law enforcement in New Mexico has gone too far. We reported recently on two other cases that shocked the senses. One was a driver who failed to use his turn signal, so the cops gave him stomach x-rays and multiple anal exams after their dog thought maybe he might have drugs (he didn’t.)

The second was even better.  A guy rolls through a stop sign, and the dog (the same dog) has an inkling this guy might be trouble.  But what really clinched it for the cops was that the man appeared to have “clenched his buttocks.”  So, they took him, against his will, to a medical center that gave him several anal exams, x-rays, three enemas, and then a colonoscopy.  And they found nothing.

At least in the first two cases above, the cops had a warrant, though the warrant appears to have been invalid in the county in which they performed the searches.  But in this most recent case, that might have been customs agents (the government isn’t sure yet), they never even got a warrant.

Here’s the report from the local news.  For a good inappropriate chuckle, note the snapping of the glove at the 1 minute mark of the video. Ah, local media….


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CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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38 Responses to “Cross the border? Vaginal search”

  1. ComradeRutherford says:

    Hey, don’t worry, you weren’t the first. HuffPo got it wrong, too.

  2. Neroon says:

    I read the story and I know geography. The first sentence states that there was another body cavity search in New Mexico. Close to New Mexico by Customs does not count. The next sentence says it took place in El Paso Texas, case closed. I expect better out of John and this site.

  3. Oops, sorry

  4. Clevelandchick says:

    I’m gonna pretty much stick to the coasts and Canada on this continent. Always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon, but not that much.

  5. Clevelandchick says:

    Cops can easily use an innocuous word or hand command to make the dog act like they detected something or hell, they don’t even need to do that – they can just say it happened even if it didn’t.

    The cops figure the law of averages is on their side, they’re searching every blade of the haystack for a needle to keep their drug busts up for their state’s private prison contracts that require a 97% occupancy rate, no matter what they have to do do innocent people to get there. They have judges and mayors and police chiefs that will back them up and allow them to continue the practice. Guess what Americans? We’re all now just collateral damage for private prison industry profits.

  6. Ninong says:

    John, you forgot to mention the most egregious parts of that first incident involving the invasive physical examination of that female driver who crossed the border from Mexico into the US. The doctors at the hospital they took the woman to refused to perform the procedures demanded by the law enforcement officers in spite of the signed warrant because they correctly said that such procedures were unethical and uncalled for. In effect, they told the law enforcement guys to shove it.

    So they took her to a hospital in a different county. Those doctors did perform the requested enemas and full colonoscopy in spite of the fact that the search warrant was NOT valid in that jurisdiction! So that hospital performed those procedures without the consent of the “patient” and without a legal warrant authorizing them to do anything of the sort. Now the hospital is billing the “patient” for the full retail cost of all the procedures they performed on her against her will and threatening to turn her over to a collection agency if she doesn’t pay up.

    Of course she has a lawyer and of course she is suing the two doctors and their hospital. Can you even imagine something like that happening in this country? Forced enemas and a forced colonoscopy under the color of legal authorization that was NOT valid because she was taken to a hospital outside the jurisdiction of that court. And they did this even after the first hospital told them that what they were trying to do violated the ethical standards of that hospital, the doctors and the patient’s rights!

  7. Nathanael says:

    I keep telling that type of idiot that a gun is simply no good against a group of assailants unless you have an entire trained squad of people with guns. The sort of people who say this nonsense are just gun enthusiasts; they aren’t serious about any of the “freedom” or “safety” bullshit they claim; it’s just regurgitated talking points, and they’ve never thought about it for ten seconds.

    (I actually have much *more* respect for the militia types, who have a better understanding of what it means to defend yourself against armed paramilitaries. The militia types are more dangerous, but that’s *because* they’re smarter and more sensible — I’d want to get the militia types on my side in a bad situation, and I’d want the gun enthusiasts to be somewhere else.)

  8. Nathanael says:

    The big problem is that most police dogs are basically trained to do what their handler tells them to, not to actually detect anything. That’s the *instinct* of a dog — to please the guy who feeds him — and you have to have a really unusual sort of handler and trainer to get the dog to be honest.

    There are some honest above-board competent dog handlers, but not a hell of a lot. More in the explosives-detection biz than in the drug-detection scam.

  9. Nathanael says:

    This are cases where the dogs are doing what their criminal handlers told them to. We have to have such dogs decertified — and their handlers need to be executed for their crimes, since I think that’s more humane than life-without-parole.

  10. karmanot says:

    Where is the DOJ? These incidents are Gestapo tactics.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t that go without saying? Lol

  12. Rrhain says:

    Try again.

    Is this a problem confined to a single venue or is it a larger problem? How might the actions we take to stop such overreach be affected by the extent of the problem?

    After all, this latest episode seems to have been done at the border crossing which means it wasn’t local police (New Mexico or Texas) but rather the feds. So now it would seem that the overreach in attempts to “find drugs” is pervasive at all levels of law enforcement.

    To pretend that the details of the story don’t really matter is to completely misunderstand the story.

  13. The_Fixer says:

    All three of these reports came from the same TV station in New Mexico. I don’t know if the first guy they reported on brought it to their attention or just how they found out about it. But apparently, they are finding that these reports have attracted enough attention to keep them reporting on these episodes.

    I have no doubt that it is happening in other places, and we’ll start to hear about it shortly. This simply can’t be exclusive to New Mexico and the border crossing in Texas near the N.M. border.

  14. The_Fixer says:

    What you say is true, no doubt.

    However, I have little faith in the police to both correctly handle the dog, make certain they and the dog are properly trained, and that the dog is properly certified.

    I don’t want to trust my freedom (or any of my body parts) to a dog. I don’t think that they are worthy of anyone’s trust. Get rid of ’em.

  15. ComradeRutherford says:

    Hmm… Not enough. Hit ’em again!

    That’ll teach ’em to NOT have drugs when we expect them to.

  16. bejammin075 says:

    Also consider this: CAT scans are a HUGE dose of radiation!! According to the Wiki entry on X-Ray Computed Tomography, with an old school chest X-ray the tissue absorbs a radiation dose of 0.01 mGy, whereas a CAT (aka CT) scan of the chest, abdomen and pelvis has the tissues absorbing 12 mGy. 12 divided by 0.01 gives a radiation dose about 1,200 times a typical chest X-ray.

  17. karmanot says:

    ppppfffftttt Your nitpicking adds nothing.

  18. karmanot says:

    Exactly!

  19. nicho says:

    Or Texas

  20. Naja pallida says:

    A drug search dog is only as good as its handler. The dog and handler need a complex ongoing and consistent relationship. They need to train together constantly, so the handler comes to learn when the dog is false reporting and the dog learns that the handler actually expects results not just reports. You can’t just train a dog to smell drugs, throw him with any random handler, and then expect them to be successful. It simply can’t happen. When you have poor training and a low level of handling skill, the dog will false report any time the handler wants him to, consciously or unconsciously.

  21. Anonymous says:

    700 balloons still won’t make me visit New Mexico.

  22. guest05 says:

    I’m waiting for the ‘if she only had a gun, she could have protected her vagina’ idiots to respond to this.

  23. Monoceros Forth says:

    Quibbling can be fun. I’ve quibbled a lot myself. It’s an excellent and very pleasurable substitute to thoughtful response.

  24. Whitewitch says:

    Been to parts of NM – don’t think I would be too amazed…Arizona is also on my no drive list.

  25. BeccaM says:

    To be fair, most of these… atrocities are happening in the far southern (read: ‘Tea Bagger’) parts of the state.

    I think you’d be amazed to see what folks are like in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe regions. A lot of us refer to southern NM as “East Arizona” and eastern NM as “West Texas.”

  26. BeccaM says:

    Amen to that.

  27. BeccaM says:

    Yeah… and since the first two reports, our local NBC affiliate KOB.com has been receiving more reports of people coming forward with their stories, from all over the region.

  28. The_Fixer says:

    Time to get the dogs out of law enforcement. They clearly are not accurate nor are the effective.

    Oh, and the human dogs, too.

  29. The_Fixer says:

    It was a woman from New Mexico and the report came from a TV station in New Mexico.

  30. Rrhain says:

    Physician, heal thyself! You need to read the report more carefully:

    “The woman was crossing the border from Juarez, Mexico to El Paso, Texas”

    Where does New Mexico enter into it? That she is from New Mexico is irrelevant. The border crossing was made at Texas.

    “A third story from New Mexico….”

    No, the story is from Texas. The woman may be a citizen of New Mexico and the original source that this story is retelling may have been a New Mexican one, but the story is out of Texas.

    Since, you know, El Paso is in Texas. If this had happened in Las Cruces, sure, but this was El Paso.

    Texas.

  31. ComradeRutherford says:

    “A third story from New Mexico … Juarez, Mexico to El Paso, Texas”

    Since when is El Paso, Texas in New Mexico???

  32. caphillprof says:

    Human dignity is worth more than any possible drug illegality. It’s time to end the drug wars.

  33. Whitewitch says:

    Note to self…do NOT visit New Mexico, don’t drive around in New Mexico and REFUSE police when they want to search your orifices.

  34. SFExPat says:

    WTF is going on in New Mexico? Or is this happening elsewhere and for some reason we’re getting the info from there only?

  35. emjayay says:

    Read the AmericaBlog report more carefully. Story from New Mexico about a New Mexico woman. Federal police of some sort. Hospital in El Paso, Texas. Watch the news program report. Try Google Maps. You will see that El Paso is at the western end of a strip of Texas in between Mexico and New Mexico just wide enough to contain the city.

  36. Neroon says:

    I’m confused, if El Paso is in Texas what does this have to do with New Mexico? I still think this search is ridiculous, but I think a little geography might help.

  37. GarySFBCN says:

    I’m waiting for the ‘only people with something to hide would object to this’ idiots to respond to this.

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