DOCUMENT: Bizarre, Crime

How Inmate Hid A 24" Machete In Belly Fat Roll

Metal detectors failed to spot stashed weapon

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Memphis Fats

MAY 6--A judge has ordered a mental evaluation for the Tennessee man who had a 24-inch machete “so deeply tucked into and covered by” a roll of belly fat that metal detectors failed to reveal the weapon’s presence when he was recently booked into a Memphis jail.

Freddrick Johnson, 30, was busted in mid-December for aggravated criminal trespass at a bus station where he was known to “masturbate publicly and otherwise disrupt and cause fear amongst the passengers, patrons and staff,” according to a complaint affidavit.

When Memphis Police Department officers conducted a “thorough pat-down” of Johnson, they found two folding knives, a taser, and multiple bags containing what appeared to be controlled substances (but actually were imitation narcotics).

At the time of his collar, Johnson was serving a three-year probationary term for a late-2017 aggravated assault conviction. Johnson had pleaded guilty to stabbing a man multiple times inside a Memphis homeless shelter. Johnson had been sentenced to three years in prison, but the execution of that sentence was stayed in favor of his supervision by a probation officer. In light of Johnson’s December arrest, prosecutors have petitioned to revoke the suspended sentence he received in the stabbing case.

How the 6' 2", 320-pound Johnson succeeded in smuggling a two-foot machete into the Shelby County jail is detailed in an affidavit sworn by a Memphis police officer.

After Johnson passed through metal detectors inside the lockup, he was patted down by jail personnel who “located an unknown object that had previously been tucked deep underneath a large fat roll.” During initial searches of Johnson, the fat roll “appeared and felt to the touch to be a continuous piece of flesh.”

However, a “deeper search” of Johnson’s body revealed “an object of a semi-erect nature which protruded to the left of his person consistent with male genitalia.” When asked if “this was Johnson’s male member,” the suspect “answered affirmatively.”

As the search continued, jailers found “a similar object protruding to the right of his person.” Though Johnson again claimed that officers had happened upon his genitalia, investigators “became immediately suspicious of a concealed weapon.”

“While the possibility of the male member protruding in two different cardinal directions exists,” Officer C. White wrote, “the likelihood of such an ailment and the laterally symmetrical nature of the object itself, indicated to officers that a large object such as a pipe or club must be present.”

When told that he would be subjected to a strip search, Johnson went into his fat roll and extracted an “approximately 24 inch machete wrapped with a pair of gym shorts that had been so deeply tucked into and covered by, a fat roll that metal detection screenings did not reveal its presence prior to his entering the detention area.”

The discovery of the machete resulted in Johnson being charged with a felony count of introducing contraband into a penal institution.

Johnson--whose rap sheet includes convictions for theft, criminal trespass, and disorderly conduct--remains locked up in the Shelby County jail on multiple charges. He is next due in court on May 14, when the results of his mental exam may be disclosed. (2 pages)