Inmate deaths caused by apparent drug overdoses, says Chatham Co. Sheriff’s Office

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 3:10 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2023 at 3:18 PM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Two inmates have been found unresponsive at the Chatham County Detention Center in recent days.

The sheriff’s office says the deaths were caused by apparent drug overdoses.

Officials with the Chatham County narcotics team say they were called to the detention center two times since Friday.

Inmate Lloyd James was found unresponsive in his cell early Friday.

Inmate Marco Ochoa was found unresponsive in his cell yesterday afternoon.

Both were taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead, according to the sheriff’s office.

Tuesday, a member from the sheriff’s office said an investigation is underway to figure out who is responsible bringing what they say is likely fentanyl into the facility.

The sheriff’s office also says that unprecedented measures were taken following these deaths to search inmate housing areas.

“Us relocating or moving 135 inmates from the area. Those inmates were searched and checked, they received new linen and moved to another area in the facility. After we moved them to a new area in the facility, we had another entity go down and actually search the housing area where these inmates resided in,” said Maj. L. Hill.

Following that search, WTOC asked narcotics officials if the area is now drug-free.

They said that it is clean now but did not say what exactly they found.

The Chatham County Narcotics team says based on the evidence, these deaths appear to be from opioid overdoses but that it will take time to get official toxicology reports.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is now investigating these deaths.