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Attorney arrested at downtown L.A. courthouse on suspicion of drug possession

June 15, 2010 |  1:38 pm

A Beverly Hills attorney was arrested Tuesday in a secure area of a downtown Los Angeles courthouse on suspicion of narcotics possession after he allegedly tried to smuggle drugs into the building.

The defense lawyer, identified as Michael H. Inman, was taken into custody by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's bailiff in Department 111 at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said the drugs were discovered by a sheriff's department dog brought in to check inmates for narcotics.

Inman, 48, entered the secured lock-up area, where defendants wait for their court appearances, about 9:30 a.m., Whitmore said. Moments later, the dog who was there checking inmates "focused on the attorney," Whitmore said. That led to a search by deputies.

"This was a brazen attempt to bring narcotics into an otherwise secure facility," Whitmore said. "This individual brought in about 19 grams of black tar heroin and about 2 grams of methamphetamine."

Whitmore could not say exactly where the drugs were allegedly hidden.

Inman was being held in lieu of $190,000 bail.

Records show a history of disciplinary action against Inman, including a month-long suspension in 1999, in which he was ordered to pay restitution in connection with a civil dispute. 

At the time, he suffered from serious amphetamine and marijuana problems, state records show.

-- Andrew Blankstein