By Logan Smith

PUEBLO, Colo. (CBS4) – An inmate at the Pueblo County Jail is facing additional felony drug charges after deputies discovered an 14.8-gram chunk of heroin that the inmate unsuccessfully tried to keep hidden in his pants.

Joe Vasquez, 47, eventually admitted to jail staff he had swallowed the drug prior to his arrest five days earlier.

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Joe Vasquez (credit: Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office/Twitter)

Tuesday, deputies received a tip about possible drugs inside the detention center. After an initial search turned up nothing, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office K9’s Mondy and Edo and their handlers were brought in. The dogs detected several locations inside the jail’s housing unit as possibilities, and deputies intensified their search efforts.

Vasquez was selected for an electronic body scan. He was placed in a holding cell after undergoing the scan.

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“While waiting in the holding cell, deputies noticed Vasquez was acting suspicious,” the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office stated in a press release Thursday. “Deputies entered the cell and found a plastic bag in the toilet. Deputies also observed a black substance on Vasquez’s hands and his leg. Deputies had Vasquez remove his pants and while doing so, a black rock-like substance fell to the floor. The substance tested positive for heroin.”

(credit: Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office/Twitter)

Vasquez had been arrested May 20th by the Pueblo Police Department on a felony drug charge related to methamphetamine possession.

“I commend the deputies involved in this incident for their thorough investigative work,” said Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor. “Their persistent work kept a pretty substantial amount of heroin out of the jail.”

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Vasquez was scheduled to stand before a judge Friday morning to be formally advised of the additional charges.

Logan Smith