At least one other man in New Mexico was forced to undergo invasive bodily searches for drugs after a traffic stop involving the same police dog and the same hospital.
KOB-TV reported that David Eckert had filed a lawsuit against the city of Deming, Gila Regional Medical Center, six law enforcement officers and two doctors after he claimed to have been subjected to anal probes, X-rays and a colonoscopy after officers suspected him of having drugs after he was pulled over.
However, no drugs were found after 14 hours and eight medical procedures that attorneys say violated the terms of a search warrant.
Another man, Timothy Young, told the TV station that he experienced a similar ordeal after he was stopped for turning without a proper signal.
Young said the same K-9 unit that alerted officers to drugs in Eckert’s case indicated that he also had illegal drugs.
Like Eckert, Young was taken to Gila Regional Medical Center in nearby Silver City and subjected without his consent to X-rays of his abdominal area and an anal exam.
Police found no drugs, and Young said the search warrant used in his case, like Eckert’s, was not valid in the county were the exams were conducted.
The station also reported that Leo, the K-9 unit involved in both cases, had been trained as a drug-sniffing dog, but the animal’s certification had expired for New Mexico in April 2011.
K-9 officers must be certified each year.
“We have done public requests to find anything that would show this dog has been trained, (and) we have evidence that this dog has had false alerts in the past,” said Eckert’s attorney, Shannon Kennedy.
The doctors involved in both cases are under investigation by the state licensing board, and the police officers will go before a law enforcement board.
[Stern doctor with rubber glove via Shutterstock]