Jailhouse surveillance video captured a Nebraska man stashing crack cocaine in the ceiling of an interrogation room, officials said.
The Douglas County Attorney’s Office released video to ABC affiliate KETV of an October incident in which suspect Thomas Hartman is seen putting a chair on top of a table inside an interrogation room at the Omaha Police Headquarters, climbing atop it, lifting the ceiling tiles and stashing eight individually wrapped packages of crack cocaine inside, according to Omaha Police Department public booking arrest report obtained by ABC News.
Officers caught him in the act. “You’re at the frickin’ police station, man, and you put a chair up and tried to get in the ceiling,” an officer can be heard telling Hartman on the surveillance tape.
The officer is seen searching the ceiling and a small white bundle falls out. The officer doesn’t see it initially, but later another officer is seen straightening up the room on the surveillance tape when she discovers the drugs.
“Mother…” she can be heard uttering on the video as she leans down to grab the bag of crack cocaine, which had fallen under the table when police searched the ceiling.
The scene began when Hartman allegedly falsely accused of his cousin Trentell Clifton of robbing him at gunpoint of $445 in cash and a Samsung Galaxy phone worth $65, according to an incident report obtained by ABC News. Police detained Clifton, but he told them he was at a local mall at the time of the alleged robbery, which police confirmed with mall security.
Hartman’s girlfriend Jaelyn Jackson told police the robbery did not happen and Hartman eventually admitted he had made up the allegation, according to the public booking arrest report.
As the scene plays out on surveillance tape, police were also talking to Jackson in a nearby interrogation room, where she told detectives she was doing sexual favors in exchange for money as directed by Hartman.
The video shows Hartman banging on the walls and yelling for his girlfriend.
“Babe! Babe!” he yells. “I think they’re going to take me to jail. Go get that money and bond me out!”
Hartman was booked for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and false reporting, according to the public booking arrest report. He was convicted of possession of a controlled substance and sentenced to nine months of supervised release, the Douglas County Attorney's Office said.