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A Fort Worth man says he went to jail because the car he bought from a police auction had drugs hidden inside.

Manuel Coronado said he picked up his 1992 Grand Marquis from a Fort Worth police auction for $500.

“I figured it’d be clean. There’s no reason to search it front to back or nothing. I figured I bought it from a police impound, it’s good to go,” he said.

But according to Coronado it wasn’t.

Officers found 10 grams of heroin on the floorboard of the car after a recent tire blowout and car accident on Interstate 35W at Highway 121. Coronado believes the drugs were hidden somewhere in the air bag and fell out when it deployed.

He was arrested and taken to prison for the first time in his life.

Fort Worth police spokesman Sgt. Pedro Criado said all auction vehicles are searched before they are sold. But he admits the department is investigating Coronado’s claim.

“The components that are accessible via key — glove box or trunk, console area and the inner portions of the vehicle — those are what are searched,” he said.

Police plan to find out more about the history of the car, why it was impounded and who the previous owner was. If they find the drugs were already in the car when they sold it, they’ll have some decisions to make.

“As to whether or not to drop the charges on the person arrested and or reimburse any financial burden he encountered during this incident,” Criado said.

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