South Portland police: Suspect hid crack cocaine in his mouth

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SOUTH PORTLAND — A traffic stop for a suspected fake inspection sticker resulted in two people being jailed on drug charges, police said Wednesday.

Sheryl Wallace, 45, and Dennis Splude, 55, both transients, were arrested on Main Street Tuesday night after Officer Scott Corbett pulled over the vehicle driven by Wallace.

Corbett believed Splude, who was in the passenger seat, was hiding drugs in his mouth and attempted to search him, but Splude resisted and fought with Corbett, police said. Wallace allegedly attempted to interfere with the search, but stopped when a passerby stopped to check on the situation. 

After other officers arrived, packets suspected to contain crack cocaine were taken from Splude’s mouth. Splude was hospitalized because of concerns he may have ingested the drugs during the search. More drug-related evidence was found in Wallace’s vehicle, police said.

Splude and Wallace were taken to Cumberland County Jail in Portland. Splude was charged with possession of crack cocaine, refusing to submit to arrest and falsifying physical evidence. Wallace was charged with displaying a fictitious inspection sticker, obstructing government administration, possession of a scheduled drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.

Splude was convicted in 1999 of federal cocaine conspiracy charges, according to police.

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