On Wednesday, a 37-year-old man charged with third degree robbery was booked into a Snohomish County, Washington jail. Just 30 minutes later, seven inmates overdosed on fentanyl and were rushed to the hospital. Detectives have since connected the dots and point to the newcomer as the source.
Prosecutors say an inmate, 37-year-old Justin Michael Sims, was originally booked into jail just before 7 p.m. Wednesday on third degree robbery charges. According to court documents, a jail deputy noticed an inmate drifting in an out of consciousness just 30 minutes later, showing clear signs of a drug overdose. When paramedics arrived, they found six more inmates with the same symptoms.
After searching Sims' cell, deputies found fentanyl powder on scraps of torn and folded paper, hidden in a box of crackers. Detectives say the pieces of paper also had the inmate's name on them, as they were ripped from paperwork from Sims' court appearances.
They raced the inmates to the hospital after treating them with NARCAN. Other inmates later identified Sims and his jail cell as the source of the drug.
Sims now faces multiple new felony charges for allegedly smuggling in the fentanyl.
The seven inmates, who were immediately treated to NARCAN before heading to the hospital, are all recovering and "expected to be okay."