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Inmate Swallows 11 Drug-Filled Balloons

These are the drugs Lemario Gilbert is alledged to have swallowed before coming to jail.
Hamilton County Sheriff's Department
These are the drugs Lemario Gilbert is alledged to have swallowed before coming to jail.

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
Lamario Gilbert now faces more than a decade in prison because of his attempt to bring drugs into the jail.

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.

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With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.