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Salyersville Independent

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Seven inmates overdose at jail

STAFFORDSVILLE – The Big Sandy Regional Detention Center had three separate incidents Monday morning involving seven inmates overdosing at the jail.

BSRDC Administrator Byron Hansford told the Independent they incidents all occurred in the same cell involving inmates that had not been at the jail more than five or six days.

“We put them in detox, then in a step-down cell before going into general population, and that’s where this occurred,” Hansford said. “The staff were doing their rounds and got to them quickly, thankfully.”

At approximately 4 a.m., staff found two males unresponsive and another male that had licked the paper with a residue of whatever the other two had taken prior to collapsing. The three were treated with Narcan and sent to the hospital, while staff checked the cell, finding nothing.

A couple hours later, two more male inmates overdosed. They were sent to the hospital and the cell was searched, again, with nothing found.

A couple more hours later, two more collapsed. The inmates were sent to the hospital and everything in the cell was taken out, searched, cleaned and the cell was pressure washed.

In total, BSRDC had to administer 18 doses of Narcan. All inmates affected were checked out at the hospital and by Monday afternoon four of the seven were back at the jail, with all expected to make full recoveries.

“At this point we don’t really know,” Hansford said when asked what the substance was and how it entered the jail. “We’ve been told it was heroin laced with fentanyl, which it sounds like, but we’ve not been able to confirm that. We think it came in with an inmate, but it is under investigation.”

Hansford said he has been given a name of who may have brought in the substance, but nothing has been confirmed and no charges have been made at this time.

Currently, they are conducting an internal investigation and if they can find evidence to press charges, they will turn the case over to the Kentucky State Police to prosecute.

He also noted that all inmates sent to the hospital on Monday were X-rayed prior to returning to the jail in efforts to make sure they could not bring in any other substances.

“It is frustrating because you don’t know how it comes in,” Hansford said, explaining that inmates sometimes go out in work crews in the community, where they have the potential of being able to bring something into the jail. He said family and friends have left things in restrooms, so they have to be careful to clean restrooms before allowing inmates back into those areas.

“People will even have someone stash it at the courthouse when they go for court hearings,” Hansford said. “It’s a never-ending battle.”

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