Tuesday, August 04, 2020 Elyria 65°

Cops and Courts

Inmates taken to hospital for drug effects

  • E-Inqueue-WordPress-Output-Krugman-MUG-jpg
  • E-Inqueue-WordPress-Output-Eric-King-MUG-jpg

ELYRIA — Two Lorain County Jail inmates, including one already facing charges for trafficking in drugs at the jail, were taken to the hospital early Thursday after they were found to be high on drugs.

Jail Administrator Andy Laubenthal said the men, Eric King and Benjamin Krugman, did not overdose on fentanyl or another form of opiate. Inmate Joseph Boden died of a fentanyl overdose March 20 while serving a 90-day jail sentence for theft and contempt of court.

Laubenthal said a corrections officer doing a security check about 4:30 a.m. Thursday noticed that Krugman, who is jailed on charges connected to a string of break-ins at area businesses, was talking rather than sleeping.

Krugman was twice told to go to bed, but continued to talk, Laubenthal said. He was then told to sit on a bench, and a jail nurse was called to check him out. Krugman was taken to a different part of the jail while guards searched the housing area he was in, where they found King, “who was lethargic and somewhat uncooperative,” Laubenthal said.

King also was examined by the jail nurse and guards found him with two small plastic bags of a substance that has yet to be identified. The search of the housing area also turned up other contraband, but Laubenthal declined to say exactly what was discovered.

Krugman was given naloxone, a drug to counteract the effects of an opiate overdose, but it had no effect because Krugman wasn’t under the influence of the powerful painkillers, Laubenthal said.

Both men were sent to the hospital, but returned two or three hours later, he said. Blood tests showed they had anti-anxiety medication in their systems, according to Laubenthal.

King and Krugman have been placed in disciplinary isolation while they are awaiting hearings on potential punishment. Laubenthal said both men and a third suspect being investigated by detectives could face criminal charges as well.

King already is facing drug trafficking charges based on evidence that investigators uncovered while looking into Boden’s death. King isn’t charged with giving the fatal dose of fentanyl to Boden, but investigators suspect he is linked to the black market for drugs inside the jail.

Boden wasn’t given naloxone because his illness didn’t initially appear to be related to an overdose, Laubenthal said. By the time emergency medical personnel arrived, Boden had died.

Laubenthal said the drug use discovered Thursday is another example of the problem corrections officers have with keeping illicit substances out of the jail. He said inmates routinely smuggle contraband into the jail inside their body cavities, something that is difficult for guards to detect when they search prisoners being booked into the facility.

Laubenthal said he is continuing to look into getting a full body scanner that can show what’s inside a human body. The cost for the machines, which other jails around the state have begun to use, is about $200,000.

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