WACO, Texas -- A woman accused in 2015 of concealing a fully loaded pistol in her vagina was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years probation for meth possession, ordered to serve 300 hours of community service and told to pay a $2,500 fine.
Waco Police stopped Ashley Cecilia Castaneda in September 2015 near the intersection of North 15th Street and Blair Street in Waco. She was the passenger in a vehicle, driven by Gabriel Garcia, who was accused of having 2.7 grams of methamphetamine under the driver's seat. When officers searched the vehicle, they said they found another 29.5 grams of meth and weighing scales in Castaneda's purse.
Since the traffic stop happened within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, both Garcia and Castaneda were arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine in a drug-free zone, Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton said at the time.
While Castaneda was being taken to jail, she reportedly told an officer she had a concealed handgun in her vagina. Officers immediately stopped and had a female officer search Castaneda, according to police. The officer found a loaded Smith and Wesson .22-caliber pistol with a round chambered in Castaneda's vagina, police said.
On Tuesday, Castaneda's attorney Seth Sutton claimed the story of the gun in her vagina was wrong and released the following statement to Channel 6:
The ridiculous narrative circulated, first by police, and then by the media that Ms. Castaneda somehow concealed a gun inside her vagina is and has always been completely false. The re-publication of that narrative many times over has caused Ms. Castaneda a great deal of emotional pain and is yet another example of how the internet can destroy lives. The reason it spread so fast in the first place is because it doesn't seem possible. Well, guess what? It's not possible. The real story here is that a young woman got "off track" for a while. She has now taken steps to get her life turned around in the right direction. The court honored those steps today with the granting of a deferred probation. I would ask that the media also honor those steps by not salaciously perpetuating a false story in an effort to garner a few extra clicks.
But, Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton dismissed Sutton's version of events as completely false -- saying that officers did find a gun in Castaneda's vagina.
"If [Sutton] is calling all Waco Police officers liars, he's sadly mistaken," Sgt. Swanton said. "Yes, she had this concealed inside her body cavity. And, that's what makes being a police officer so dangerous these days. Suspects do really stupid things. And, yes, this suspect did a really stupid thing."
Sgt. Swanton went on to say that the female officer who searched Castaneda is confident in her understanding of the human anatomy and has no doubt about where the weapon was located. In fact, Swanton said police were worried about their officer's safety because she got bodily fluid on herself from handling the gun.
"We talked about this case because we want our community to know these are the dangers officers face on the streets day in and day out," Sgt. Swanton said. "This is a female suspect who hid a gun inside her body cavity and very easily could have caused herself and our officers harm."
Sgt. Swanton said Castaneda also hid prescription drugs inside her bra.
Some archived information came from a prior story by Josh Davis at our sister station WFAA.