- Associated Press - Thursday, March 24, 2016

SALEM, Mass. (AP) - Police say surgeons at a Massachusetts hospital removed 27 bags of heroin from a man who allegedly swallowed them to smuggle them into the United States.

The Salem News reports (https://bit.ly/1RoPNrc ) that 51-year-old Miguel Rodriguez, of Lynn, faces drug trafficking charges.

Police say they believe a bag broke open after Rodriguez returned from a visit to the Dominican Republic. They say he checked into the North Shore Medical Center Salem Hospital with symptoms of an overdose.

The paper reports that surgeons removed the bags from the man’s stomach, intestines and rectum during emergency surgery on Tuesday. Salem police detectives watched and counted the bags.

The public defender representing Rodriguez couldn’t immediately be reached to comment on Rodriguez’s behalf.

He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment at the hospital Thursday.

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