Authorities are investigating a suspected heroin overdose that occurred Wednesday evening inside the Fayette County Jail.
The female inmate – who is now back in the jail – is believed to have been provided the drug by a new arrestee who smuggled it inside, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth. Another inmate in the female jail population reportedly brought the overdose to the attention of jail personnel on Wednesday evening.
“The inmate who overdosed was transported to the Fayette County Memorial Hospital emergency room and was treated, released and was then returned to the jail on Wednesday night,” said Stanforth. “We believe that a new arrestee brought contraband into the jail by concealing it in a body cavity. No charges have been filed yet.”
The sheriff’s office is prohibited from conducting a body cavity search without having probable cause.
“You also need a medical professional for the body cavity search,” said Stanforth. “This is a problem that is occurring all over the country. There have been an influx of individuals who are bringing drugs into the jail by this method. We try to isolate these situations, but we aren’t always going to know if someone is hiding something inside of his or her body.”
Stanforth said investigators are still inquiring whether females other than the individual who overdosed were provided suspected drugs on Wednesday.
“We are confident there are no more drugs in the cell,” said Stanforth, who added the average number of female inmates is around 15 lately. “This is a narrow population that we’re looking at. We brought in investigators, all inmates were interviewed and statements were obtained.”
Once the investigation is completed, the findings will be presented to the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica