Inmate Swallows 11 Drug-Filled Balloons

Feb 8, 2017

New Hamilton County Justice Center inmate Lemario Gilbert thought he had an airtight plan to use and deal drugs inside the jail, but swallowing eleven balloons filled with marijuana and Suboxone proved to be a big mistake.

Major Charmaine McGuffey wouldn't say how deputies discovered the drugs initially. Once they did, they had to wait for Gilbert to pass them. When the inmate realized the Sheriff's Department was on to him he tried to re-swallow a few of them.

Lamario Gilbert now faces more than a decade in prison because of his attempt to bring drugs into the jail.
Credit Hamilton County Sheriff's Department

Gilbert's actions are the latest of example of what Sheriff Jim Neil calls "desperation." A drug task force formed in 2013 routinely finds pills and pot inside the jail. There were nearly 400 episodes last year.

McGuffey explains while the street value of Gilbert's drugs would have been a couple hundred dollars, the value inside the jail to other inmates is in the thousands of dollars.

She says the message to new inmates is don't try this unless you want more time.

"Don't bring drugs into our jail because we will charge you with that and we will find them."

Gilbert now faces an additional decade of time behind bars if convicted of the new drug-related charges.