"Are you holding?"

For cops and dopers, this question is the first move in a high-stakes game of hide and seek.

Hoping to leave some literal and figurative distance between their persons and the contraband should they find themselves on trial, many dealers of illegal substances opt to hide away stashes in their homes and cars. Curbside dealers exploit environmental crevices found in nearby trees or brick walls.

But for many dealers and many more of their clients, nothing offers peace of mind like having their illicit goods within ready reach on their bodies, in their clothing, or even inside body cavities.

Knowing this, cops are usually heads up on recognizing the tell-tale signs of narcotics offenders. They know when someone is under the influence, and they often know when a subject is carrying.

But locating the substance in question can sometimes be a challenge. Let's take a look at some tried-and-true hideaways and some new stuff that we're just now seeing on the streets.

Illicit drugs have been secreted in every conceivable stitch of clothing, inserted into body cavities, ingested in balloons, and hidden in breast implants. Some women hide their stashes in altered tampons. And some corpulent cretins (fat idiots) have even used their love handles for stash pads.

Women (and some men) carry contraband in garter stashes and hair bands. The gimp with a limp? You might want to look inside his knee immobilizer. The fold in it can accommodate half a gram. Even the cap of a Bic pen can hold illicit drugs.

Drug suspects are also willing to swallow their vanity and endure pain to hide their contraband. Some have used wig hideaways sewn and glued to their heads, necessitating emergency room electrolysis.

Now let's go into some detail about clothing and footwear.

Anyone who has worked customs will tell you that it's amazing what can be stuffed where and in what quantity. One French citizen arrested at Miami International Airport had 10,679 tablets of Ecstasy concealed in the Spandex shorts he was wearing under his blue jeans.

Contraband has been sewn into jacket linings, rolled into jeans, and concealed in baby blankets and table linens. Sad as it may seem, some smugglers and users have hidden their drugs in their children's clothes, gambling that officers wouldn't search the kids.

Coin pockets and socks also continue to be popular hiding places but, in their pursuit of on-person hideaways, some offenders have become very innovative and have developed clothing with special compartments.

One recent narcotics arrest involved a suspect who had meth wrapped in plastic in small sellable amounts. These portions had the top of the plastic area melted and then stuck to the underside/inside of the sleeves of his shirts for retention. This way he could apparently conduct a drug transaction discretely by reaching up into/under his shirt sleeve and pulling one packet lose at a time kind of like those "Now Serving" number dispensers that you see at Baskin Robbins. The quantities weren't large, making them easily overlooked or possibly missed during a search.

The demand for such hideaway wear has led some entrepreneurs to develop mass-produced stashaway apparel that can be bought in stores and on the Internet.

ArchPort sells a line of footwear with secret compartments built into the soles. Neither huge nor obvious to the uninitiated, these sandals and athletic shoes should remind you to examine the inner and outer edges of surrendered shoes when checking for narcotics.

The Lowlife Spring/Summer 2007 Collection features a new Case buckle, which opens up to reveal a cigarette holder.

Meanwhile, Rainbow Hippie Patches carries a line of pants with a stash pocket specially sewn into the back of the pant leg.

OK. We have to talk about this. Despite all of these products and innovations, the number one hiding place recommended by dopers for dopers…Let's just put it this way: Unless you're a freelancing proctologist, odds are you're not going to find it.

Author

Dean Scoville
Dean Scoville

Dean Scoville

Former associate editor of Police Magazine and a retired patrol supervisor and investigator with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Sgt. Dean Scoville has received multiple awards for government service.

View Bio

Former associate editor of Police Magazine and a retired patrol supervisor and investigator with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Sgt. Dean Scoville has received multiple awards for government service.

View Bio
0 Comments