Cops to pay bill for woman's body cavity search

/ Source: msnbc.com

A New Mexico woman who refused to pay a $1,122 hospital bill for a court-appointed body cavity search won a victory Wednesday: Police will foot the bill, The Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

"We're pleased," the woman's lawyer, Michael Lilley, told the newspaper. "It's the right thing to do, and they did it and we're pleased."

The 19-year-old Las Cruces woman wanted Doña Ana County officials to pay the hospital bill she received after undergoing such a search on suspicion she was hiding heroin.

The woman's identity was not being released.

The Metro Narcotics Agency had "credible information from a reliable source" that the woman had concealed up to an ounce of heroin, which led to a search warrant on July 1, police said.

"The information was very specific, that she was involved in obtaining heroin from Mexico and was going to come back across the border and the method of bringing it into the country, secreting it into the country, was body-packing," Deputy District Attorney James Dickens told the Sun-News. "And so that's why, obviously, they focused on doing a body search."

The woman was searched at Memorial Medical Center, which then billed her for $1,122.

No heroin or any other narcotic was recovered from the exam. The woman was not arrested or charged.