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Contraband watches find drugs, razor blades, tattoo machine

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s contraband watch program most commonly finds drugs, but inmates have swallowed or concealed in body cavities plenty of other dangerous or odd implements, according to reports by the prison system’s inspector general.

Among some of the longest and strangest cases:

— An inmate swallowed a pen with razor blades attached to both ends, as confirmed by an X-ray. He had a history of swallowing dangerous objects, resulting in nearly 40 surgeries. That left him with such severe scar tissue that doctors said they couldn’t operate to remove the double-edged pen, which couldn’t move through his gastrointestinal system. He was transferred to a state mental hospital after nearly 52 days on contraband watch.

— After more than 15 days on contraband watch, an inmate produced two rolled-up notes written by inmates, a bundle of string, a tattoo motor, a tattoo shaft, a bottle of ink, and a six-inch plastic inmate-made knife with a metal tip.

— After nearly 15 days, an inmate passed five razor blades, a dismantled set of nail clippers, pen fillers, and a sewing needle.

— After nearly 12 days on contraband watch, prison officials recovered two drug packages from an inmate, one containing two ounces (57 grams) of methamphetamine, heroin, and “China White” — synthetic heroin or heroin laced with the powerful painkiller fentanyl. The second contained an ounce (30.3 grams) of methamphetamine and marijuana.

— After nine days, an inmate passed a metal chain and an eyedropper. A month later, metal tubing identified by an X-ray was surgically removed.

— After six days, prison officials recovered razor blades, hearing aids, finger nail clippers and a can opener from an inmate.

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