WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Four inmates at the Warren County Jail were recently taken to the hospital, possibly for drug overdoses, and one of them reportedly died.
The incidents all happened in the span of a week.
Warren County Sheriff Larry Sims acknowledges there has been a “spike” in overdoses recently. Speaking of the four recent incidents, he says his office is waiting for the toxicology results before it can determine whether drugs were at fault.
Sims says his office will not release the names or photos of the inmates until the incidents have been confirmed as overdoses.
He does say they involved two men and two women, and that of the men, a 34-year-old from Franklin, Ohio died.
“We found potential evidence to support there might have been some residue present in the cell that this individual occupied,” he explained.
Sims added keeping contraband and illegal drugs out of jails is a concern across the board. It’s not visitors bringing them in, he says, but the inmates themselves.
“It’s a constant fight when people come to jail and they hide it in parts of their body you can’t look.”
Sometimes the drugs come in by U.S. mail.
“They’ll take a sheet of paper, an envelope,” Sims explained, “and dip it into a liquid form of, let’s say meth as an example, and it dries out, and they mail it in, and then the inmate’s (are) able to use that. Typically they swallow it to ingest it.”
The sheriff says his jailers will soon be able to catch more of the drugs coming in.
“We don’t have a body scanner,” he said. “(...) When our new facility is built, we will have one.”
The new Warren County Jail is scheduled to open in 2021. Sims says the new facility will increase his bed space from 280 to around 500, keeping more inmates behind bars and reducing the number of early releases.