When he heard police were going to search his car, 49-year-old Russell Hessling wasn't going to let a little thing like a police stun gun stop him from eating the box of methamphetimine that would most likely send him to prison.
The move didn't work, according to District Attorney John Bradley.
"Eating the evidence will not set you free,"Bradley said. "The punishment likely would have been less if the defendant had simply allowed officers to search the car and recover the drugs."
Last week Hessling pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and possession of a controlled substance. He was subsequently sentenced to 18 years in prison.
On Jan. 3 a Leander patrol officer spotted Hessling driving out of a junkyard at about 2 a.m. on Ranch Roach 2243, Bradley said.
After stopping and talking to Hessling, the officer saw a glass pipe which is commonly used to smoke illegal drugs. When Hessling learned officers were going to search his car, he grabbed a small, silver box and began eating the contents.
He struggled with officers, even after they resorted to using a stun gun, until he had eaten everything in the box except for a small powdery residue that tested positive for methamphetamine, Bradley said.
A urine sample told investigators that Hessling had ingested methamphetamine.
Court records show Hessling had prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and burglary of a building.