Jail X-ray reveals stolen necklaces in Pinellas inmate's stomach - WFLA News Channel 8

Jail X-ray reveals stolen necklaces in Pinellas inmate's stomach

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An X-ray of inmate Joseph Bravo Ramos, 21, revealed two necklaces in his stomach. Pinellas County Jail photo An X-ray of inmate Joseph Bravo Ramos, 21, revealed two necklaces in his stomach. Pinellas County Jail photo
An X-ray of inmate Joseph Bravo Ramos, 21, revealed two necklaces in his stomach. Pinellas County Jail photo An X-ray of inmate Joseph Bravo Ramos, 21, revealed two necklaces in his stomach. Pinellas County Jail photo
Joseph Bravo Ramos Joseph Bravo Ramos
LARGO, FL (WFLA) - Two necklaces stolen during the burglary of a Safety Harbor home were discovered in an unusual place: the stomach of a man who was being booked into the Pinellas County Jail.

Deputies at the Pinellas County Jail say they made the discovery while booking Joseph Bravo Ramos, 21, of Clearwater. Clearwater Police Officers had arrested Ramos on Wednesday, Dec. 11 on a charge of grand theft after detectives say he was discovered driving a car stolen during a burglary that happened one day earlier in Safety Harbor.

When Ramos was being processed into the jail, he had to be x-rayed by a full body scanner which looks similar to the scanners used in airports. The resulting X-ray photo revealed a large dark mass in Ramos' stomach area. The mass was later identified as necklaces that Ramos swallowed before entering the jail, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

"This is something that otherwise wouldn't have been detected. And probably based on the fact that the medical personnel determined that it had to be surgically removed, was probably a serious health threat," said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

The sheriff says Bravo Ramos claimed he owned the necklaces. 

"Anybody's gonna question that. If they're your chains, why are you swallowing them? and then when they were removed, then the victim identified them," said the Sheriff.

Related: Pinellas Jail offers full body scanners

Ramos was then transported to a local  hospital where surgery was performed to remove the two necklaces.

Detectives then took the necklaces to the Safety Harbor resident whose home was burglarized. She identified them as ones that were missing from her home.

Ramos was charged with one count of burglary and one count of tampering with physical evidence in addition to the previous charge of grand theft.

"It had to pretty uncomfortable going down. I'm not sure exactly how you do that. But I'm surprised he didn't choke or something," said the Sheriff.

The scanner that detected the stolen necklaces was installed at the Pinellas County Jail in June of 2013. The purpose of the $215,000 scanner is to prevent contraband from entering the hail. The scanner can detect metals, pills, plastics, drugs and other unusually-shaped objects that can be concealed by an inmate.

Deputies use the device along with pat downs and occasional strip searches.

"There are certain areas of the body you can't search, especially when people ingest things or insert things in certain places," said Gualtieri.

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