4 inmates overdose after woman smuggles potent drugs into NKY jail: Court docs

Brittany Byrd is accused of trading the drugs for items at the commissary.
Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 9:24 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - An inmate is accused of smuggling a potent mix of illegal drugs into Kenton County Jail leading to four overdoses on the same day, according to court documents.

Brittany Byrd was arrested by Villa Hills police on Sept. 23 because a K9 smelled drugs in her purse during a traffic stop, according to a police affidavit.

The suspected overdoses happened on Sept. 27, after Byrd was booked into Kenton County Jail having allegedly brought fentanyl and cocaine with her.

Byrd is accused of trading the drugs for items at the commissary.

Kenton County jailer Marc Fields confirms four female inmates were hospitalized with overdose symptoms. [Fields’ full statement is below.]

The detention center is equipped with Narcan. All four inmates survived.

It remains unclear how Byrd allegedly got the drugs into the facility.

Court records show Byrd has active warrants out for her arrest in Ohio and Indiana and that a grand jury in Hamilton County indicted her on charges of fentanyl and cocaine possession last year.

Newtown Police Chief and Addiction Response Coalition co-Chair Tom Synan says fentanyl is popular in jails and prisons because trace amounts can get users high—but just two milligrams can be lethal.

“Fentanyl is dangerous, no matter what,” Synan said. “Whatever you mix fentanyl with, that makes the whole entire incident more dangerous.”

Synan explains overdose patients have a “good chance” of recovering if first responders arrive quickly to perform CPR and administer Narcan, but the road to recovery is long.

Fields’ statement:

“We do everything in our power to prevent drugs or any contraband from entering this facility. All correctional facilities face the challenge of keeping these things out. Sometimes, our best efforts are not enough and they do get in. Our policy has been and will continue to be to ensure the proper investigation is completed, charge the person bringing in the contraband and improve any procedures we identify that would strengthen our facility from these types of incidents re-occurring.”

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