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A man was caught smuggling drug paraphernalia into the Vista jail last month, according to Sheriff’s deputy Brian Merrifield.

Eric Lane Percell, 29, was found to have on his person a hypodermic needle during a “visual strip search” on August 3, according to the deputy.

“It was inside his rectum,” said Deputy Merrifield. “It was about four inches long, the holster.” The deputy testified at a preliminary hearing for Eric Lane Percell on September 4.

“We have a constant problem with drugs being brought into jail,” Deputy Merrifield told the court.

Percell’s first criminal conviction in San Diego County was in 2001, the year he turned 18 years old, according to court documents. The first three years of Percell’s criminal career he earned seven convictions for different felonies, including methamphetamine possession and burglary and multiple thefts. In following years his felony convictions included violent resisting arrest and multiple car thefts and evade with reckless driving and more thefts and drug possession.

Prosecutor Jared Coleman alleges five separate prior prison stints for Percell. So far in 2012, Percell has two convictions for meth possession already on his record.

At the end of the hearing Tuesday morning, Superior Court Judge Richard Mills ordered Eric Lane Percell, now 29, held without bail and to answer one felony and one misdemeanor charge related to bringing drug paraphernalia into jail. Percell’s next court date was set for October 2.

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