Mohave County Adult Detention Facility in Kingman, Arizona. (Photo by Charles Black)
KINGMAN — The Mohave County Adult Detention Facility is focusing on safety during the investigation of five inmate overdoses. The drugs could potentially be fentanyl or carfentanil, however the substance has not been positively identified yet.
Fentanyl and carfentanil are extremely dangerous synthetic opioids, with the potential to be hundreds, even thousands of times stronger than heroin. Synthetic opioids are a class of drugs that are designed to provide pain relief, mimicking naturally occurring opioids such as codeine and morphine. They tend to be highly potent, only a small amount of the drug is required to produce a given effect.
Captain Don Bischoff said that although synthetic opioids are manufactured legitimately by pharmaceutical companies for appropriate healthcare use, they are also manufactured illegally in clandestine labs and distributed through the illicit drug market.
The inmates in the J-Pod unit have been transferred to neighboring county detention facilities and the area will be decontaminated and searched. The unit will not be used for inmate housing until it has been thoroughly cleaned. It is expected that the remainder of the facility will be fully operational by 10 AM Friday (4/19) morning.
“I reached out to both Sheriff Driscoll of Coconino County and Sheriff Risen in La Paz County and both were more than willing to step up and provide assistance in housing our inmates,” said Sheriff Doug Schuster. “I want to reassure everyone that the situation in the detention facility has stabilized. To ensure we maintain proper facility security and safety, we are being overly cautious and methodical as we proceed. This is still a very active investigation.”
Bischoff said they have been actively communicating with the county attorney’s office, the courts and the defense bar to ensure that none of the relocation efforts have a major impact on court cases. “We will continue to work together so these inmates court cases continue to move along in the criminal justice process,” said Bischoff.