• Teen Sues U.S. Over Cavity Drug Search for Which She was Billed $575

    June 23, 2016

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Post-Constitution America

    strip search

    Ashley Cervantes, a then 18-year-old American citizen, was stopped at the Mexico border and, for some unspecified reason, perhaps related to her being young and of Hispanic ethnicity, accused by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of smuggling drugs.

    What Drugs?

    A search of her person and belongings proved fruitless, which often is a strong indicator that there are no drugs. The process involved being locked into a detention room for several hours, handcuffed to a chair, while several dogs were brought in to sniff at her. A request to call her mother was denied.

    But bullying is the best law enforcement tactic, so they gave her a body cavity search, which means a CBP agent put on some rubber gloves and shoved a finger up her vagina and butt. She was also made to squat pantless so female investigators could visually inspect her privates. Still no drugs.

    So Customs and Border Protection took her to a local hospital against her will, in handcuffs. No warrant, no consent. Instead, a Customs and Border Protection agent signed a “Treatment Authorization Request” as she was considered an alleged “potential internal carrier of foreign substance.” That form requested an X-ray.

    After the X-ray showed no drugs, doctors performed another vaginal and anal search. No drugs. She was finally released after seven hours of humiliation and given a bill for $575 for “medical treatment.”

    What Rights?

    Cervantes now has a civil rights lawsuit pending against the government. “[I] had never before been to a gynecologist and, for the remainder of my life, will always remember that my first pelvic and rectal exams were done under the most inhumane circumstances imaginable to a U.S. citizen at a hospital on U.S. soil,” she charges.

    What Border?

    Begin at America’s borders. Most people believe they are in the United States as soon as they step off an international flight, or as long as they are waiting for their outbound flight, or as they enter a CBP office on the border, as with Cervantes in the case above, and are thus fully covered by the Bill of Rights.

    Wrong. And the irony that a person can be separated from his Constitutional rights by a border marked by a pane of glass is not to be missed.

    The truth has, in the twenty-first century, become infinitely more complicated as long-standing practices are manipulated to serve the expanding desires of the national security state.

    Over the years, recognizing that certain situations could render Fourth Amendment requirements impractical or against the public interest, the Supreme Court crafted various exceptions to them. One was the “border search.” The idea was that the United States should be able to protect itself by stopping and examining people entering or leaving the country. As a result, routine border searches without warrants are constitutionally “reasonable” simply by virtue of where they take place. It’s a concept with a long history, enumerated by the First Congress in 1789.

    What Border, 2016 Edition?

    Here’s the twist in the present era: The definition of “border” has been changed. Upon arriving in the United States from abroad, you are not legally present in the country until allowed to enter by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials. You know, the guys who look into your luggage and stamp your passport. Until that moment, you exist in a legal void where the protections of the Bill of Rights and the laws of the United States do not apply. This concept also predates Post-Constitutional America and the DHS. Remember the sorting process at Ellis Island in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? No lawyers allowed there.

    What once were modest exceptions in Constitutional America morphed into a vast “Constitution-free zone.” The “border” is now a strip of land circling the country and extending 100 miles inland that includes two-thirds of the U.S. population. In this vast region, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can and conduct warrantless searches.

    Related Articles:

    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Bruce said...


      Thank goodness for not being the enema of perfect White PRIVILEGE, Barry-0 ! http://littlefun.org/uploads/52240df7e691b22e22883a7a_736.jpg

      06/23/16 10:37 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      Who wants to be a millionaire? Just dab some dope in your butt and fool some dope to cavity search you.

      A woman who sued a border-area hospital and agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection after being subjected to what she argued was an unwarranted body cavity search for drugs has settled part of the lawsuit for $1.1 million.

      The woman, a resident of New Mexico who is called “Jane Doe” in court documents, was subjected in December 2012 to vaginal probes and CT scans after crossing the port of entry in El Paso. The suit against University Medical Center was filed in December 2013 by the American Civil Liberties Union. The case against Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is still pending, according to a statement from the ACLU.

      “Despite the trauma and humiliation endured by our client, she had the courage to step forward,” Rebecca L. Robertson, the legal and policy director for the ACLU of Texas, said in a statement. “Because of her, the hospital has changed its policy to prevent this from happening to others. Now we hope that CBP will also take responsibility and stop subjecting innocent people to unconstitutional and abusive searches.”

      06/23/16 11:43 AM | Comment Link

    • Helen Marshall said...


      The county taxpayers will be on the hook for that one..as for me, I will never agree to go to that hospital for any services, given that it took a lawsuit for the hospital management to inform its emergency room doctors that hours of vaginal and anal searches did not constitute medical treatment.

      As for hoping the CBP will take responsibility….hahahahahahaha – thanks for the laugh. I needed that.

      Too bad the CBP doesn’t exercise this Constitution-free authority around Dulles Airport when, say, congressional staffers fly in from overseas vacations.

      06/23/16 1:54 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Helen Marshall said…
      “Too bad the CBP doesn’t exercise this Constitution-free authority around Dulles Airport when, say, congressional staffers fly in from overseas vacations.”

      Ha. They’ve got a free pass. Just mention who they work for. Bingo. Step right in the US of A sir. And what about foreign Kings and Princes? Like this one?


      You can bet your sweet bippy they’ll never get taken in for privates searching. Or arrested ..in the US.

      06/23/16 11:00 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      On a side note..speaking of “privileged” people..
      it looks like Emailgate is turning into a Nixonesque nightmare for James Comey.
      How the FBI can look at all this and not recommend prosecution of someone for something in EmailGate strains the imagination.”unquote


      I smell heads rolling on this one, one way or another. After all, given the latest evidence, there is no fucking doubt now that Clinton and others broke the law with impunity, and Comey knows it. And so does Obama, and even though he has endorsed her, Obama knows Comey can only “recommend” indictment to Loretta Lynch, who as AG, works for Obama.

      His only out is he WON’T have to suffer the inevitable shamelessness fallout should Lynch decide NOT to prosecute. Of course, his future will be zilch, and will probablyresign, but Lynch..should she stand with Obama..is credibility dead. No matter what happens, this story is heading for history making status. However, just like a movie, I’m hoping justice wins. I can see Hillary in handcuffs being led out of the courthouse to jail. Hand me the popcorn. This is getting good..

      06/24/16 6:58 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      btw..however this history making political thriller turns out, it will, PROVE ONCE AND FOR ALL, whether the TWO TEIRED JUSTICE SYSTEM prevails, or REAL justice prevails. This is why it is a Constitutional crisis.

      06/24/16 7:02 AM | Comment Link

    • JW Trovillo said...


      I read the reprint of this article first on Ron Pail Institute Facebook. I have been aware of the CFZ and the Agenda 21 initiative for years. I was interested in this article as it provides a startling example of the CFZ in action.

      Side note: I realized it was not a journalistic piece when I got to the word “butt,” and frankly, lost faith in the veracity of the report immediately (perhaps unfairly). I will now do my own research to cross check facts.

      In the meantime, as a writer myself, for future reference, use anatomically correct verbiage when writing about medical procedures, rape, or really any fact-based incident. Not doing so call into question the author’s journalistic integrity and frankly intelligence and class. I suspect the information here is fact checked and true and I appreciate the intention of reporting it. Unfortunately, I hesitate Sharing it because that one word calls into question the authenticity of the whole incident and makes it certain it is not written by a professional. Just my two cents and not meant to offend.

      06/24/16 9:11 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      Thanks for the feedback, and I understand your points. I try to write in a looser, more conversational, dare I say “Daily Show” style here and there, figuring many people seem to prefer that at times. Not everyone does of course.

      At the same time, the main point of the story — the unconstitutional searches at the border — remains solid.

      06/24/16 7:57 PM | Comment Link

    • PBJ said...


      “You’re about to graduate into a complex and borderless world.”: Secretary of State John Kerry -Northeastern University, May 6, 2016

      06/25/16 4:55 AM | Comment Link

    Leave A Comment

    Mail (will not be published) (required)