Woman Arrested After Sneaking Drug-Soaked Paper into Cook County Jail Inside Baby’s Diaper

Mar 29, 2024Press Release


COOK COUNTY, IL – A 22-year-old woman has been charged with felony drug offenses after attempting to smuggle illegal narcotics in the diaper of a 9-month-old baby during her visit with an individual in custody at the Cook County Jail, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

On Jan. 8, Sheriff’s Office Investigators were monitoring live security camera footage of visitation in Division 10 when they observed Reality McDowell, of the 6400 block of South Artesian Avenue in Chicago, handing the child to an individual in custody and saw the individual remove a piece of paper hidden in the baby’s diaper. Investigators recovered the folded piece of paper that appeared saturated with an unknown substance after a search of the individual. 

 Laboratory tests confirmed the paper was saturated with Phencyclidine (PCP), a dangerous illegal drug classified as a hallucinogen. On Thursday, March 28, McDowell was arrested at her home and charged with Bringing a Controlled Substance into a Penal Institution, a Class 1 felony, and Possession of a Controlled Substance, a Class 4 felony. The Sheriff’s Office also contacted the Department of Child and Family Services which is currently investigating.

 McDowell appeared for initial appearance on the charges at the George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building where she was released from custody pending trial.

 The investigation is ongoing, and Sheriff’s Office Investigators will be seeking felony indictment of the individual in custody in connection with the incident.

 Drug-soaked paper has posed a dangerous threat to the health and safety of individuals in custody in jails and prisons around the country. Since last year, 36 individuals – including McDowell- have been charged with drug-related offenses at the jail as part of the Office’s aggressive efforts to prevent drug-related overdoses.

 The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.