Washington DC

1 Inmate Dead, Another Hospitalized After Overdoses Inside DC Jail

It's unknown at this time how the inmates got the drugs while in jail, authorities say

NBC Universal, Inc.

One D.C. Jail inmate is dead and another is in the hospital after they both overdosed on drugs that were possibly laced with the deadly opioid fentanyl, officials say.

The two inmates were in the same cell at the D.C. Jail when they overdosed on Sunday, D.C. Council Member Charles Allen said.

Sean Lee, 37, died, a spokesperson for the jail said.

The second inmate remains in the hospital and is expected to be OK. D.C. Council Member Trayon White, who is running in the race for D.C. mayor, said in a statement that a jail employee revived the surviving overdose victim with Narcan.

A second man died at the jail on Friday, but his cause of death is unknown at his time, authorities said.

Allen said the D.C. Department of Corrections briefed him on its investigation.

"We have a duty to keep people safe when they're in our care and so that deeply concerns me that we have lost a life and then another deeply impacted. And then secondarily, we have to know how did this get in there?" Allen said.

Recent deadly overdoses in D.C. have involved drugs laced with fentanyl. Officials say it's possible that's what caused these overdoses.

"Any overdose, as we have seen across the city, unfortunately, often times does include fentanyl so we should take it very seriously and assume that could be it. But we gotta let the investigation from the chief medical examiner's office confirm that," Allen said.

The department is working to find out how the drugs got in the jail, whether through another inmate or someone who works there.

Officers are conducting drug searches at the jail in an effort to prevent further overdoses, officials said.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who is running for re-election, said the overdoses are alarming.

"I don't know that any jail is contraband proof, but we certainly have our focus on keeping all illegal items out of the jail and so when our investigation is complete, we'll know more," Bowser said.

D.C. police are investigating the deaths at the jail, and autopsies will determine their exact causes of death.

Stay with News4 for updates to this developing story.

Contact Us