Among other welcoming language, the Hildago County, New Mexico, website proudly and prominently states: ” Welcome to Hildago County!…Enchantment Begins Here!” If the reported facts regarding this case are true, Hildago County would be well served in also including a disclaimer on their website advising potential seekers of “enchantment” to avoid members of local law enforcement. Apparently, if one gets on their bad side and is suspected of illegal drug possession, it is unlikely that any “enchantment” will ensue.
One would think that the following discussion pertains to a fictitious event. Unfortunately, – and unbelievably – it appears that this incident actually occurred. David Eckert, 54, is a working-class guy who gets by dealing in junk. He also has a prior conviction for methamphetamine possession. Reportedly, members of law enforcement frequently stop him, citing reasons such as his truck having a “cracked windshield” or other supposed traffic violations. Almost all recent stops have resulted in his car being searched for illegal drugs. None of these searches has revealed the existence of any illegal drugs.
The latest stop – for an alleged “failure to yield at a stop sign” – has become the basis for partial settlement of 1.6 million in favor of Eckert. Apparently frustrated at their recent failures in discovering illegal drugs in Eckert’s car, law enforcement now decided that more invasive and aggressive tactics were called for. After stopping Eckert for the most recent supposed failure to yield violation, the Officer ordered Eckert out of his car. According to the Officers, Eckert then gave them consent to search his car – a fact that Eckert completely denies. A drug-sniffing canine was then brought to the scene and Officers allege that the dog “alerted” them to the presence of drugs on the driver’s side of the vehicle – once again, when the car was later searched, no drugs were found.
Relying heavily upon “facts” that are now believed to be completely false, the lawsuit contends that the Officers swore out an affidavit for a search warrant that authorized a limited search of Eckert’s “anal cavity.” After procuring their warrant, the Officers then transported the handcuffed Eckert to a local hospital. An abdominal X-Ray of Eckert was conducted. The treating physician found no foreign object in Eckert’s rectum or anywhere else in his abdomen. Not satisfied with the negative X-Ray, the Officers reportedly argued for more testing. Eckert was subjected to no less than three enemas, none of which produced any illegal drugs. Not satisfied with that, the Officers apparently continued to insist on additional procedures. Finally, Eckert was prepped for surgery and a colonoscopy was performed. No narcotics were found. To add insult to injury, the hospital billed Eckert for all the procedures. The portion of the lawsuit against the hospital is still ongoing.