Robbery suspect caught with a VERY concealed firearm

Tim Hales

It’s not unusual for corrections officers to find contraband on suspects or inmates when they’re first booked into jail, but finding a gun is a little out of the ordinary compared to things like drugs or cell phones. Deputies in Nash County, North Carolina, however, must have been truly shocked when they discovered a gun smuggled inside an inmate’s “body cavity” as he was being processed for intake.

Turkise Petway was facing charges of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and aiding and abetting armed robbery when he was taken into custody and brought to the Nash County jail, but can expect some additional charges after his gun was discovered hidden in his, uh, rectal holster.

Authorities said he was placed in the facility’s Tek-84 body scanner, which can detect any illegal contraband hidden in their clothing or body cavities.

The scan picked up the loaded revolver in his groin area, deputies said. An X-ray image showed the gun inside Petway’s body.

Detention officers retrieved the handgun, and Rocky Mount Police Department officers returned to take possession of the firearm.

I love how casually the report mentions officers taking possession of the gun while managing to tell us absolutely nothing about how, exactly that process went down. Probably for the best, honestly, though I’m almost as curious about how Petway managed to stuff a gun up his backside as I am about how deputies managed to get it out, especially since the revolver was apparently loaded.

Now, it should be noted that of all the local coverage of this case, only FOX 46 reported the detail that Petway’s gun was located inside the inmate after an X-ray image was taken, with other media outlets sticking with a vague description of a revolver found “in Petway’s groin area“. I don’t know if that description is being used so as to not offend the delicate sensitivities of any viewers, if the local Fox affiliate had some, uh, inside information not available to other media outlets, or if there was some miscommunication about where exactly the gun was found, but I did want to at least acknowledge the discrepancy in the local media accounts.

However, if Petway really did manage to stuff a gun up there, he wouldn’t be the first inmate to do so. In fact, he wouldn’t even be the first guy in North Carolina caught with a pistol up his pooper. In researching this story (I’m sure my minders at Google are having a field day over this particular search) I stumbled across another case out of Onslow County from ten years ago involving a murder suspect, a 10-inch revolver, and an apparently roomy rear end.

A man wanted for first degree murder in the Atlanta area was arrested in Onslow County.  Deputies in Onslow County say the man hid a large handgun in a body cavity.

According to the sheriff’s office, Trooper Scott Merritt spotted Michael Ward driving more than 90 mph on Highway 17.  He and another trooper from Duplin County worked together to stop Ward.

… the sheriff’s office said Ward was examined at the hospital and released back into Trooper Merritt’s custody, who took Ward to be booked into the jail.

Ward was strip searched before being booked and underwent the standard “squat and cough” procedure.  According to the sheriff’s office, Ward used another person’s identity during the arrest and booking process.

Detention officers found a .38 caliber handgun in Ward’s cell the next day.  Jailers eventually discovered Ward stored the 6-inched barrel gun in his rectum.  He was taken to the hospital for examination of possible injuries.

According to Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown, the medical exam showed Ward had suffered no injuries.

I’d like to think that being caught smuggling a gun in your “body cavity” (and facing criminal charges for the act) would be a wake up call for Petway that it’s time to turn his life around, but maybe this was just one of those risks that comes with the job of an (alleged) armed robber. If nothing else Petway has now learned hard way that the long arm of the law also has a hand attached to it, and its reach extends farther than he ever suspected.