New Attempts to Evade Drug Use Detection: The Whizzinator
Submitted by Mark Collins, Drug Testing Technician
(CSOSA Newslink, September 2002)
While water loading and Visine bottles filled with urine and other liquids have typically been the means of choice for offenders attempting to "beat the system's" drug testing at the Illegal Substance Collection Unit (ISCU) and other field locations, in 2002 offenders are attempting to advance their schemes to pass drug tests while still using illegal substances.
Earlier this summer, Drug Testing Technicians (DTTs) at the ISCU experienced a rash of attempts to submit bogus samples by male offenders using the Whizzinator, a urinating device with a prosthetic penis. The apparatus, which can be purchased on the internet for $149.95, plus a shipping and handling fee of $12.95, is advertised on the web site Whizzinator.com as undetectable and fool proof. But as evidenced by the number of incidents reported, this is clearly not the case. Although the manufacturers of the device did a good job creating a realistic looking apparatus, a properly trained DTT can detect otherwise.
Offenders using the device often times try to increase conversation which is intended to obtain face-to-face contact, thus diverting the DTT's attention away from looking at the submission of a sample. In addition, offenders using the device often ask for the water to be turned on when submitting samples. While a good percentage of offenders use the "turn the water on" method as a means of psychological motivation, an offender using the Whizzinator simply wants to use the running water to distract attention from fidgeting and pressing on the device's abdominal cord. Other warning signs may include total coverage with the hands, turning away from the convex mirrors, and not completely exposing one's self.
DTTs first became aware of the artificial device being used when they noticed that the color of the apparatus was different than the skin tone of the offender. In time, use of the artificial penis became more difficult to detect because offenders used newer models that were more skin tone appropriate (white, tan, black, or brown), but with the attentiveness of our DTTs, offenders were still being caught in the act.
According to an article published by the Associated Press in June of this year, Nadine Wallace, a Community Corrections Officer, confiscated such a device in the home of Jason Smith, 24, of Pacific, Washington. Snickering arose in a Washington court room when Wallace told Judge Stephen L. Rochon about confiscating the contraption, which comes complete and ready for testing with a fully adjustable latex-free elastic belt, a 4 oz. vinyl bag, prosthesis, one sample of dehydrated toxin free urine and four organic heat pads. Evidently the judge in this case did not find the matter funny because he ordered Smith to serve five months in jail for possessing the contraption, illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Here in our Community Supervision Services Division the rash of allegations prompted new language to be added to the Offender Orientation Contract and new sanctions to be imposed for conduct violations. DTTs complete incident reports stating the allegations and submit copies to their supervisor, the Community Supervision Officer and the Supervisory
Community Supervision Officer. Computer notations are also logged in PRISM within twenty-four hours.
Comments by the ISCU Branch Chief, Michael Gunn:
"CSOSA maintains a zero tolerance policy for substance abuse by offenders. Any attempts to circumvent the drug testing
process through bribes, attempts to bribe, jokes, or obstruction of justice is prohibited. We hope to send a clear message that certain types of conduct will not be tolerated. If proven guilty, the following consequences may occur:
- increased sanctions and drug testing,
- probation/parole revocation,
- or criminal prosecution.
While our objective is not to be punitive, our mission is to provide accurate and timely information to our partners for the fair administration of justice," said Branch Chief Michael Gunn. "On behalf of CSOSA's Community Supervision Services, I would like to thank all of ISCU for once again proving that you are the best at what you do."
For additional information on CSOSA media releases contact:
Leonard A. Sipes, Jr.
Senior Public Affairs Specialist
Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency
633 Indiana Avenue, NW Suite 1263
Washington, DC 20004