Woman wants county to cover $1K hospital bill for cavity search

Posted: September 13th, 2011 by Gadget42

by Ashley Meeks, Las Cruces Sun-News

A Las Cruces woman has been charged $1,122 by a local hospital for a forcible body cavity search ordered by the Metro Narcotics Agency that did not turn up any illegal substances.

She is now asking the county to pay her hospital bill.

The woman, who is not being named because she was not arrested or criminally charged, was searched at Memorial Medical Center on July 1, according to a tort claim notice Las Cruces attorney Michael Lilley served to the county this week.

The woman is refusing to pay the $1,122 she was subsequently billed for the body cavity search, the tort claim notice shows.

Metro Sgt. Mike Alba said agents had “credible information from a reliable source” that the woman was concealing up to an ounce of heroin, leading to the search warrant from Magistrate Court. The woman, who has no criminal history in New Mexico, was in custody for several hours.

In his letter, Lilley calls the search “unlawful” and is asking Metro to pay the bill.

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