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With digestive tract search warrant, Cass County deputies find hose clamp

FARGO -- Cass County deputies executed a search warrant last week on the digestive tract of a jail inmate after he was suspected of putting cracks in his jail cell windows using an object he was hiding in his body.

The search was conducted last week and turned up a plumbing hose clamp.

Cass County sheriff's Sgt. Tara Morris said a search warrant on a digestive tract is "very, very uncommon," but she could not speak to the specifics of the search due to federal medical privacy laws.

Generally, Morris said the means of conducting such a search would be decided on a case-by-case basis that takes into account advice of a doctor.

"It could be that they watch for bathroom breaks," she said, although an MRI or other medical scanning technologies were also possible options. "Obviously, the inmate's health is most important."

The inmate, Carlos Ray Kidd, 33, of Stanford, Ky., is being held on federal charges of mailing threatening communications, according to charges filed in U.S. District Court in Fargo in November. Kidd is accused of sending a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland threatening to kill the judge.

According to the search warrant filed last week in Cass County District Court:

Staff at the jail saw a small crack in the window of a cell in the Disciplinary Segregation Unit that Kidd was being housed in April 21, after he was suspected of previously causing intentional property damage at the jail.

Jailers took Kidd out of the cell and searched him without his clothes on, finding nothing that could have caused the cracks, as jail windows are designed to withstand large amounts of blunt force.

After reassigning Kidd to another cell in the same unit, jailers again found the window in his new cell had been freshly damaged. Another full search was conducted on Kidd, which also came up empty.

This time, jailers took the naked Kidd to a padded observation room in the jail's booking area usually reserved for inmates on suicide watch. The room was equipped with a video camera.

Assistant Jail Administrator Lt. Andrew Frobig determined from looking at the damaged windows that they had been hit with an acute, pinpoint strike, somewhat like a BB would cause. Jail staff said the damage would have had to have been caused by a pointed, hardened object.

While watching Kidd on the live video feed from the observation cell, they noticed Kidd several times pacing, then crouching down and reaching toward his rectal area, appearing to be pushing an item into or attempting to prevent an item from exiting the area.

A search of Kidd's body cavities conducted between April 22 and April 23 at Sanford Medical Center revealed part of a heavy-duty plumbing hose clamp.

X-rays of Kidd's throat, esophagus, stomach and rectal cavities were also filed as an exhibit with the search warrant.

Kidd will not face any criminal charges related to the incident, Morris said.