State v. Jones

In State v. Jones, 76 Wn. App. 592, 887 P.2d 461 (Wash. Ct. App. 1995), the Washington State Court of Appeals found that officers conducting a lawful strip search incident to an arrest were not required to obtain a search warrant to seize suspected contraband extending from a suspect's rectum. Jones had been arrested for an offense involving possession of cocaine, and he was subsequently strip searched. Id. at 465. During the search, "a small portion of a tube protruded from his anus, and Officer Connor retrieved it by touching that extended portion. Detective Connor did not touch Jones." Id. at 464. On appeal, Jones argued the tube should have been suppressed at trial because the officers had searched a body cavity and, therefore, should have obtained a warrant. Id. In upholding the trial court's decision to admit the evidence, the appellate court stated: "The fact that the officer touched an object embedded inside the body cavity does not constitute touching the body cavity itself." Id. A warrant had not been required for the search because there was "no evidence that either detective touched or probed Jones' rectum in any way." Id.