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Forcible Removal of Drugs from Rectum Does Not Violate Fourth Amendment

By Brandon Sample

U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Bruce Guyton recommended the denial of a motion to suppress evidence recovered from a defendant’s rectum during a forced body cavity search.

Felix Booker was taken to the emergency room by Oak Ridge, Tennessee officers after he was suspected of stuffing drugs into his rectum. While being transported to jail, Booker was noticed making movements with his hands near his buttocks. During booking, a strip search revealed a small string hanging out of Booker’s anus. Booker was taken to the emergency room after he refused to remove the item.

Booker refused to cooperate with doctors at the hospital. Doctors eventually sedated Booker and removed a rock of “crack” cocaine from Booker’s rectum.

Booker moved to suppress the crack removed from his rectum, arguing that the “search” of his body was unreasonable. Judge Guyton recommended Booker’s motion be denied. According to the judge, the involuntary search of Booker’s rectum was not unreasonable because the doctor conducted the search in order to save Booker’s life rather than for a law enforcement purpose. See: U.S. v. Booker, No. 3:10-CR-44 (E.D. Tenn. 2010)

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Related legal case

See: U.S. v. Booker