Jail Strip Searches

Jail Strip Searches
By:  CJ Cassidy

How far do you think drug users will go to try to hide their stash?  Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter says pretty far.  Consider this, deputies found meth hidden inside the bodies of two women they arrested last week.

Anyone who's booked into the Scott County Jail undergoes a strip search.  In last week's incidents, jail staff saw drugs on the women after they took off their clothes.  The search is usually performed by a female jailer if the prisoners are women. 

It all began with one couple's arrest.  Sheriff Walter says 45-year-old Eddie Boyer was a federal fugitive, and when deputies tracked down Boyer and his wife, they found meth inside their car.

"Both the Boyers were brought in and searched. She was strip searched which is procedure here and that's when one of the female dispatchers found about 4.98 grams of methamphetamine," Sheriff Walter says.
Strip searches aren't typically part of the job description for a dispatcher, but just the day before, another Scott County dispatcher, Tawana Presley, performed a strip search on Carla Bromley and found meth hidden in her body.
"These people are more desperate than you can ever imagine just to keep it bottled up you know to say I got one over on you," Presley says. Presley's only been on the job three weeks, so you can imagine her surprise not only when she was asked to conduct the search, but also when she discovered the meth.

Sheriff walter says that's why strip searches are a must.  "Mrs. Boyer may have been trying to hide it for her husband. He may have given it to her, and she might have hidden it hoping she wouldn't get caught or its a possibility she may have been trying to sell it once she got into the jail," Walter says.

The Boyers and Carla Bromley are in the Scott County Jail on drug charges.  Of the other jails we talked to cape girardeau county performs a strip search.

McCracken and Franklin county jails perform strip searches only if they think someone is hiding drugs on their body.