David W. Eckert, the New Mexico man at the center of the Deming Police Department's anal probing controversy, has a history of drug-related arrests, according to court documents viewed by TheBlaze. And while the police have not returned any of TheBlaze's messages seeking comment, further investigation of other documents related to Eckert's arrest reveals a significant claim by the authorities: he's accused of hiding drugs in his anal cavity before.
As TheBlaze previously reported, Eckert was subjected to involuntary X-rays, multiple anal exams, enema procedures and a ultimately a colonoscopy. He has filed a federal lawsuit against multiple parties, including officers Bobby Orosco and Robert Chavez who the lawsuit says were involved in the stop.
According to the affidavit for the search warrant, police were told that Eckert was "known to insert drugs into his anal cavity and had been caught in Hidalgo County with drugs in his anal cavity."
Eckert's history with drugs had been revealed by his attorneys, Joseph and Shannon Kennedy, but there was no mention of any previous attempts to transport drugs in his anal cavity. Still, though court records confirm Eckert's history of drug-related offenses, we found no information confirming police's claim that he once was caught with drugs in his anal cavity.
Even with the new revelations, police officers will still have to justify to a law enforcement review board why they went to such great lengths even after an initial X-ray showed no drugs in his body.
Eckert's attorney, Shannon Kennedy, told TheBlaze allegations that her client has previously been caught with drugs in his anal cavity are "completely baseless" and "false."
"There's no record, there's no evidence," she added. "We did a public records request and investigated that claim thoroughly and found nothing."
But Kennedy also told TheBlaze that even if the false "rumor" was true, police still went way too far in their effort to find drugs in her client's body.
"It's absurd, its outrageous," she said, adding that a person's constitutional rights don't cease to exist because of criminal history.
Just to recap, here is the series of events as they unfolded, according to documents provided to TheBlaze by Shannon Kennedy:
1. Eckert’s abdominal area was X-rayed; no narcotics were found.
2. Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
3. Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
4. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
5. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a second time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
6. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a third time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
7. Doctors then X-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.
8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert’s anus, rectum, colon and large intestines. No narcotics were found.
A records search for David W. Eckert's past criminal history returns several results. The most recent drug-related arrest appears to have been in 2012. A section on the record, however, says the case was "dismissed by prosecutor."
He was charged with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), a felony, in the case. The state of New Mexico entered a "nolle prosequie" motion, meaning it found it was not in the state's best interest to prosecute, according to court records.
In 2008, he was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor use or possession of drug paraphernalia. He pled guilty and a judge granted him a "conditional discharge" with the stipulation of 18 months supervised probation, records indicate.
In 2005, Eckert was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute in a school zone and misdemeanor use or possession of drug paraphernalia. The case was ultimately dismissed by the prosecutor after it went to trial and the defense entered an "alibi or entrapment" defense.
Finally, in 2002, Eckert was charged with forgery, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. Each count was apparently "dismissed" by the prosecutor after the state of new Mexico again entered a "nolle prosequie" motion.
Though Eckert has had other legal issues going back to 1999, they involved debt, divorce and other financial issues.
TheBlaze has left messages for Eckert's attorney, Shannon Kennedy, but we have not heard back. This story will be update should she respond.
The affidavit for the search warrant in the Eckert case and other related documents are included below:
This story has been updated with comments from Eckert's attorney.