Md. jail: New body scanner detects heroin in inmate's vagina
The scanner revealed a baggie of 1.7 grams of heroin that Brittany Ann Sapp had hidden in her vagina sometime before her arrest
By Jeremy Arias
The Frederick News-Post
FREDERICK, Md. — Frederick County sheriff's deputies said a new body scanner at the adult detention center helped reveal a baggie of heroin a woman tried to hide in her vagina.
Brittany Ann Sapp, 23, was arrested at 1:40 p.m. Saturday when a K-9 helped deputies find a baggie with suspected heroin residue in her vehicle during a traffic stop off I-70 near Linganore Road, said Deputy First Class Amanda Hatcher, a sheriff's office spokeswoman.
Deputies took Sapp to the Frederick County Adult Detention Center after her arrest, where she was asked to step through the jail's new body scanner.
The scanner, manufactured by the ODSecurity company, cost approximately $118,750, according to previous reports published by The Frederick News-Post. The scanner was installed weeks ago, but it wasn't used to search inmates until the day before Sapp's arrest, Hatcher said.
"They did a couple of trial scans on Thursday, and they just started using it Friday," Hatcher said of the scanner.
The scanner revealed a baggie of 1.7 grams of heroin that Sapp had hidden in her vagina sometime before her arrest, according to a sheriff's office press release. Sapp later told deputies that she typically used this method to transport heroin from Baltimore to her home in Hagerstown, Hatcher said.
"So I don't know that she did it so much because she was pulled over, she told deputies that she transported it that way," Hatcher added.
Sapp was eventually taken to the Frederick Memorial Hospital after deputies and corrections officers noticed her becoming increasingly lethargic, even beginning to nod off, causing them to fear the baggie had ruptured, Hatcher said. Sapp was treated at the hospital and released back into custody.
The sheriff's office bought the ODSecurity scanner specifically to address the problem of inmates smuggling contraband into the detention center, Hatcher said.
"They didn't have anything in place before, they used strip searches, basically, if they believed an inmate had something on them, but that's not always effective," Hatcher said. "So from time to time contraband did make its way into jail."
At least two incidents of illegal contraband were attributed to a single inmate, Michael Angelo Jones, who managed to sneak an SD card in his prison jumpsuit out of prison and into county circuit court during his trial for assault and attempted murder. Correctional officers also found a razor blade in a pair of Jones' boxer shorts while he was awaiting sentencing.
The new scanner sparked controversy when an article published by The Frederick News-Post revealed that the purchase was made as part of a no-bid process, even though a competitive agency later stepped forward to offer a scanner for $9,000 cheaper than what the sheriff's office paid ODSecurity.
ODSecurity flew two sheriff's office employees to a detention center in New Mexico last year to view its scanner, a trip that Sheriff Chuck Jenkins told The Frederick News-Post was approved by the county's procurement office. Jenkins said the trip was approved because, at the time, the county was unaware of any competitive agencies offering a similar scanner.
Sapp, of the 800 block of Washington Street in Hagerstown, was charged with possession of heroin and possession of contraband in a place of confinement, according to an online search of court records.
She was released Saturday after posting $25,000 bail, according to an online search of court records. Sapp was next slated to appear in court for a preliminary hearing June 30, the records state.