01STOCK_COCAINE

JANESVILLE

It might come as no surprise that some people are carrying drugs when they are arrested.

Police do their best to find drugs, weapons and the like, but sometimes they don’t find everything before they bring suspects to the Rock County Jail for booking.

“If it’s in their underwear, it’s pretty hard to feel, and we certainly don’t want to search in a matter that invades your privacy too much,” said Jail Cmdr. Craig Strouse.

And sometimes, bags of weed, heroin or other substances are tucked into orifices where only a medical exam could find them, Strouse said.

“It happens. Stuff gets missed,” he said.

Police often find discarded drugs in the back of squad cars after transporting suspects. And sometimes, suspects flush their illicit substances down the toilet at the booking area of the jail.

So on Tuesday morning, a deputy was dispatched to handle the result: bags that probably once contained drugs had clogged a pipe coming from the booking area at the jail.

“All baggies were tied at the top,” the deputy reported. “But all appeared to be ripped open. In my training and experience, all the baggies appeared to be a way to package narcotics.”

Plumbers tracking down the clog had found the bags. The deputy had the not-so-wonderful job of checking them for evidence.

But the drugs were long gone down the pipe, on their way to the Janesville Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The deputy could not determine whose bags they were.

“The baggies were bagged and placed in biohazard bags,” the deputy continued. “Due to the nature of the evidence, they were not placed in an evidence locker but packaged, labeled for destruction and turned over directly to the evidence custodian.”

Drug bags have been found in the booking-area sewer pipe before, Strouse said. The pipes coming from that toilet have hooks in them, specifically designed to catch the bags so they don’t travel farther down, where it would be much more difficult to unclog the pipe.

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