Deputies: 2 inmates die at Jefferson Co. Jail, illegal drugs suspected
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County deputies said two inmates died over two days at the Jefferson County Jail, and right now deputies suspect drugs may be involved.
“We work very hard to keep drugs out of our jails,” said Deputy Chief David Agee. “No one was assaulted or physically harmed. Whatever happened, happened inside their bodies to cause their deaths.”
On Sunday night, April 10, 2022, Jefferson County Jail staff was notified of an inmate who was discovered to be unresponsive in his cell. Medical personnel were immediately notified and began life saving measures. Deputies said they were unable to revive the man.
On Monday night, April 11, 2022, jail staff was again notified of an unresponsive inmate. Deputies said again life saving measures were administered but were unsuccessful.
Evidence located at each scene suggests that illegal drugs may have played a part in the deaths, but that cannot be confirmed until toxicology reports are completed, according to investigators.
“You have people who are drug users before they become incarcerated and there is still that desire that is there,” Agee said. “They are willing to pay for those drugs, so there is always a demand for drugs in any correctional facility.”
According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, “Substantial efforts to locate the source of the suspected drugs are underway. A modified lockdown, as well as strategic searches of the jail are underway. Those actions, along with other investigative measures which cannot be disclosed, are hoped to expose the origin of the suspected narcotics.”
Other preventative measures were previously implemented.
“The modified lockdown basically restricts movement of inmates until we are finished with that part of the investigation,” Agee said. “The investigation will continue after that but as for right now, the movement is restricted.”
Agee said they do not know what types of drugs were potentially ingested or if the two cases are linked, but he said they are working to learn that information.
“We are working hard to keep forbidden items out of our jails. Unfortunately, the inmates are working just as hard to find a way to get them inside,” said Deputy Chief David Agee. “We will continue to increase our level of security to defeat the breaches before and as they occur.”
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