LAND O' LAKES, Fla. (FOX 13) - The Pasco County Sheriff's Office five inmates have overdosed since last Thursday on what appears to be fentanyl-laced methamphetamine that was smuggled into the Land O' Lakes Detention Center. One of those inmates died Friday morning.
Pasco County sheriff's detectives say they found 28-year-old Colton McKinley, of Port Richey, unresponsive inside his cell. Medical staff used four doses of Narcan to try and revive him, but he was pronounced dead 30 minutes later.
Deputies spent the rest of the day sweeping the locked-down facility for the drug, which they say was smuggled in by an inmate who is now being investigated by federal officials.
Sheriff’s office spokesman Kevin Doll said there was “no evidence to suggest the substances were brought into the facility by employees."
Investigators said the inmate appears to have hidden the drug inside a body cavity to get it into the jail.
"We brought in a lot of personnel. It is a much broader search right now to find the amounts of drugs this individual brought in," Sheriff Chris Nocco said.
The view from SkyFOX Friday morning showed deputies carrying large duffel bags and wearing tactical gear coming and going from the detention center, which houses more than 1,600 inmates.
The sheriffs said they look for, and often stop drug smuggling attempts.
"We're always trying to get better even on your best days, you can get better," the sheriff said. "These individuals made a choice. They made a choice to take these drugs that can never be lost in this situation."
But the sheriff added, "in my belief, this person led to the death of this individual," referring to the inmate who allegedly smuggled in the drugs.
An autopsy will be performed on McKinley to determine his exact cause of death.