PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said Thursday it has recently caught new jail inmates attempting to smuggle hundreds of suspected fentanyl pills into the agency's detention centers.
One female inmate was taken to the emergency room after MCSO allegedly found 150 pills hidden inside her body. The pills started falling out as the woman underwent a urine test during the jail's intake process, the Sheriff's Office said.
Once at the hospital, staff allegedly found another 50 pills inside the woman's body and some had started to dissolve.
MCSO said there have been other incidents in recent days of inmates trying to pass suspected fentanyl pills through the intake process.
One inmate allegedly stuffed six pills inside a battery. Another was caught trying to conceal 200 pills in his socks, MCSO said.
In total, MCSO reported seizing nearly 500 pills during these recent incidents.
“Our detention officers remain committed to protecting both our employees and our incarcerated population from dangerous drugs such as fentanyl,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said in a statement.
A former MCSO detention officer was arrested last month for allegedly conspiring with others to help smuggle drugs into jail.
Over 170 MCSO jail inmates were taken to the hospital for overdose or drug-related incidents in 2022. Sheriff Penzone has previously said that MCSO would install screening machines to ensure every person coming into the jails is screened for illegal contraband.
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