Denver inmates suspected of crack cocaine overdose taken to hospital

Five men were taken from the Downtown Detention Center to Denver Health yesterday for what the Denver Sheriff Department suspects to be an overdose on crack cocaine, according to a press release put out by the department.

This file photo shows police cars outside of Denver Health on Aug. 31, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Five men were taken from the Downtown Detention Center to Denver Health yesterday for what the Denver Sheriff Department suspects to be an overdose on crack cocaine, according to a press release put out by the department.

Medical personnel responded to pod 4H at the jail at around 4 p.m. and transported the men to the hospital. A drug detection K9 searched the pod for drugs later, but nothing was found.

One of the inmates has since returned to the jail, according to the release.

Denver Sheriff Department director of communications Simon Crittle said there are no updates on the condition of the inmates at this time, but that some of them were returned to a secure ward the department runs with Denver Health.

As of now, no charges have been filed.

“If these drugs are actually found, that person will be charged with a crime, a felony,” Crittle said. “At this point there’s no charges pending unless other information comes to light.”

He said the pod the inmates shared houses around 60 people.

The Sheriff Department release added that all inmates go through a magnetometer and are required to change into a jail uniform, but that, under federal law, a strip search can only be conducted if there is reasonable that a pre-trial detainee possesses weapons, drugs or contraband.

It also notes that both Denver jails conduct regular, random cell searches and use drug detection dogs for regular sweeps.

The inmate overdoses come in the wake of a review of the department by independent consultants, prompting a bigger effort to stop contraband from getting into the jails. The department is purchasing three more drug detection dogs and has chosen new dog handlers, and a captain has been put in charge of facility security.

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean covers dining and nightlife, and other odds and ends. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes her bourbon straight and has strong opinions about Kanye West. She can be reached at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.