Illegal drugs apparently smuggled in from the DR.
A Lynn, Massachusetts man is pleading not guilty to a charge of heroin trafficking while lying in a hospital bed after doctors pulled 27 bags of the illegal drug from his stomach and intestines as police looked on, according to the Boston Herald.
Michael Rodriguez, 51, arrived at North Shore Medical Center Salem Hospital complaining he felt sick from eating lobster, but officials there noted he was showing signs of opioid intoxication. He was given Narcan, an antidote that is not always effective, but, to which he responded, and after his recovery, he admitted to the medical staff he had swallowed the heroin in the Dominican Republic from where he had just returned.
The hospital staff notified local police, and two detectives wearing “sanitation suits” were present as the surgeons removed the bags of drugs, a total of 163.4 grams valued at $16,000 on the street, from his stomach, colon and rectum.
After obtaining a search warrant, the police confiscated the illegal drugs from the pathology department at the hospital, and filed charges against Rodriguez. According to the Essex District Attorney’s Office, Rodriguez is being held for arraignment in his hospital bed, with bail set at $500,000 and he was forced to surrender his passport.
Police officials believe one or more of the bags inside Rodriguez’s stomach may have ruptured, causing him to appear as if he had taken a drug overdose.
Salem police Capt. Conrad Prosniewski said, “The bottom line is that this is a person who is bringing the drug into the country and this is the drug that is killing our people. The quantity that he had inside of him came to the weight level that exceeded the trafficking qualifications.”
Officials say 29 heroin overdoses have been reported in Salem, Mass., so far this year, with 15 in March alone. Last year three individuals passed away from overdoses in the area.
Rodriguez, though facing trafficking charges, is lucky to still be alive after the incident.