A Hermiston suspect is lucky to be alive after he swallowed what could have been a fatal amount of meth during an arrest.

36-year-old Matthew Santiago Gilbert was contacted by police at a home in the 1300 block of North 1st Street, related to an alleged theft in Umatilla.

When officers found he had two outstanding unrelated warrants, he was taken into custody. But as officers were cuffing and taking him to patrol car he told them he'd swallowed 10 grams of packaged meth to avoid detection.

According to most experts, one gram of meth provides at least multiple doses, 10 grams would almost certainly kill someone very quickly. It's street value could be well over $1,000 to $1,500. He was rushed to Good Shepard Hospital where for the next 36 hours medical personnel administered various drugs and waited for it to pass.

Luckily for Gilbert, the package did not rupture. Hermiston police said these kinds of incidents are extremely frustrating, when suspects swallow drug evidence to try to avoid facing additional charges. Police say it wastes time, money, and taxes the resources of EMS and hospital workers. Gilbert will now be facing drug charges besides the two warrants, and possibly more for the theft in Umatilla.

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