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Two more overdose in Trumbull County jail

WARREN — The Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an internal investigation after two inmates suffered suspected drug overdoses Monday evening at the Trumbull County Jail despite a new body scanner brought in to prevent drugs from entering the facility.

Sheriff’s Maj. Dan Mason said a corrections officer could face internal discipline because an initial review of booking procedure shows he or she may not have followed protocol, allowing a new inmate to bring drugs into the facility.

The sheriff’s office did not release the names Tuesday of either the inmate suspected of bringing the drugs into the facility or the corrections officer.

Robert P. Click Jr., 35, and Timothy A. McGowan, 31, are back in the jail following treatment at St. Joseph Warren Hospital for the suspected overdoses, Mason said.

Corrections officers noticed around 9 p.m. Monday that a group had gathered and when they went to investigate, they saw two men unresponsive on the floor, Mason said.

Officers administered Narcan — an overdose reversal drug — and took the two to the hospital for treatment, Mason said.

The new inmate suspected of bringing drugs in came after the installation of a $120,000 full body scanner officials OK’d in order to reduce the amount of drugs being brought into the jail.

“The corrections officer who booked him in should’ve caught some things, but didn’t,” Mason said.

Mason said booking procedures require corrections officers to keep their eyes on the incoming inmates at all times, reading them for signs they are trying to deceive or hide anything. The officer is also responsible for noticing the sometimes subtle marks on the body scanned image that reveal a person is hiding something.

“Looking back at the scan and at the surveillance footage, it appears there are some things he could’ve noticed, but didn’t,” Mason said.

An internal investigation is being conducted for possible internal discipline and the Trumbull Ashtabula Group Law Enforcement Task Force is investigating the overdoses.

Officers were given training on the body scanners and also have access to training programs on the device to study and learn how to read the images precisely, Mason said.

Click is being held in the jail on charges of theft and driving under suspension. McGowan is being held on charges of driving under the influence, failure to stop after an accident, loss of physical control and a probation violation.

Three inmates overdosed Sept. 24 in the jail. All three survived. A search of the pod the men shared turned up a sizeable amount of suspected drugs that were sent for testing to a state crime lab.

The scanner has been in use since Sept. 15.

rfox@tribtoday.com

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