After being pulled over for running a stop sign in Vermont, police say they found the equivalent of 1,428 bags of heroin in a man's rectum.
On March 29, 41-year-old Fernando Estrella of the Bronx, New York, was pulled over in St. Albans by Vermont State Police. It started around 1 a.m., when Estrella ran through a stop sign, according to Sgt. John Helfant.
Soon after, a drug-detecting canine alerted the law enforcement officer to a car seat, reports the New York Daily News. Although officers discovered a cooking cap and heroin needle, they found no drugs.
Estrella was detained and sent to a local hospital. Police executed a warrant for a body cavity search, during which three heroin-filled condoms were removed from his rectum.
He was charged with heroin trafficking, heroin importation, felony heroin possession and violating the terms of a previous release on a cocaine bust from November 2015. Estrella said he had brought the heroin, the equivalent of 1,428 bags, from New York City to be sold in Vermont.
Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont dedicated his 2014 annual address to the heroin crisis affecting the state, reports CBS News.
"It doesn't affect just one class of people, it affects rich and poor," Shumlin said. "It knows no party lines, it knows no economic lines."
"It used to be that I only knew maybe a handful of people that used heroin," police Sgt. Matt Prouty told CBS News. "Now it's hard to go down the street and not see somebody that you know is in recovery or actively using."
According to Politico, the number of heroin addicts in Vermont greatly increased after prescription opioid OxyContin was redesigned, which made the drug more expensive and more difficult to crush.
Highways that lead into Vermont from various cities, including New York, have become pipelines for heroin. At the time of Shumlin’s State of the State address, approximately $2 million worth of heroin is sold in Vermont weekly, and 80 percent of inmates had been convicted of drug crimes.
"It's an illness we need to treat, talk about and stop being afraid of acknowledging," said Shumlin.