Jailed 500-pound man hid gun in folds of skin

By Calvin Palmer

A 500-pound inmate in a Texas jail hid a gun in the folds of his skin that escaped detection by at least five searches following his arrest.

George Vera, 25, was arrested when he was caught with 439 CD recordings that did not have labels noting manufacturers or distributors.

Vera, who is 5ft 10ins and weighs more than 500 pounds, was arrested by Houston police and booked into the city jail on Sunday on suspicion of bootlegging CD recordings.

On Monday, he was transferred to the county jail, where he was searched at least once.

While Vera was in the shower that day, he told a guard that he had a weapon on him, said Christina Garza, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

Garza said officers found a 9-mm handgun beneath folds of his skin. The gun was not loaded and it was unclear whether bullets were found.

Vera has now been charged with possession of a firearm in a correctional facility. He is free on $10,000 bail.

The Houston Police Department runs the city jail, and Harris County Sheriff’s Office operates the county jail. Both authorities are investigating the incident.

A spokesman for the Houston Police Department, Kese Smith, said that procedures call for a suspect to be searched upon arrest, twice at the city jail and once more upon his transfer. He said there’s no special provision regarding obese people, but officers are trained to thoroughly search suspects.

[Based on a report by the Houston Chronicle.]

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