Patient ingests bags of cocaine at GW Hospital

A man arrested in August after attempting to swallow small bags of cocaine at GW Hospital was arraigned last week.

Tyreese Wiggins, 31, was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine Aug. 13 by D.C. Superior Court, according to court documents.

A description of the event in court documents indicates that at around 5 a.m. Aug. 10, two Metropolitan Police officers responded to GW Hospital “for a call to investigate trouble.”

The officers were told by a hospital security guard that a hospital nurse made the distress call. The nurse said Wiggins had “eight small zip lock bags that appeared to be drugs in his hand.”

One officer reported that they saw drugs on the right and left side of the defendant. When Wiggins was told that the Metropolitan Police Department would be called, he “grabbed at the drugs and stuffed a large number of the bags in his mouth and attempted to swallow the bags.”

The MPD officers and security guard recovered “32 small zips from his mouth and 33 small zips from on the bed around” the defendant. According to the report, Wiggins told the officers that “they were not his drugs but he did not want to be charged with them, so he attempted to swallow them.”

Wiggins also said the drugs belonged to his girlfriend, Rasheen Garvin. Another MPD officer field-tested the substance in question and it tested positive for the presence of cocaine. Wiggins was then arrested for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, according to the incident summary provided to the court.

Wiggins was arraigned Sept. 8 and pleaded not guilty to the charge of unlawful possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

He is scheduled to be back in court Oct. 6 for a status hearing. His lawyer, Robert Feeney, did not return a request for comment.

Court records show that in October 2007 Wiggins was also charged with unlawful possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and with assault on a police officer. On that charge, Wiggins was sentenced in 2008 to serve 14 months in prison.

-Amy D’Onofrio

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