CATLETTSBURG Eight female inmates at the Boyd County Detention Center were rushed to the hospital Saturday night after they allegedly snorted heroin inside the jail and overdosed.

The incident happened around 11:30 p.m., and the inmates were taken to King's Daughters where they were treated and released five hours later, according to a news release the jail shared on Monday.

The Catlettsburg Police Department is investigating the incident and has charged Felicia Hayes, 24, of Huntington, with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, promoting contraband and wanton endangerment. Hayes had allegedly smuggled a powdery substance into the jail through a body cavity when she was booked on a crack cocaine trafficking charge last Thursday evening, according to Boyd Jailer Joe Burchett.

Hayes had been strip-searched during booking, but the substance was hidden in a location that wasn’t visible during an unclothed search, according to the jail. The jail does not have an X-ray machine.

Hayes dispersed the powdered substance to some fellow inmates in an assessment cell, according to Burchett, who said he was at his home when the incident happened. The inmates then snuck the substance into the bathroom, Burchett said, and snorted some of it. Heroin is not typically snorted, but rather heated with a flame and injected through a needle.

A small portion of the substance was not snorted by the inmates, but instead wrapped in a piece of clothing and left on the floor, Burchett said. That remaining substance is being tested by the Catlettsburg Police Department, Burchett said.

Around 11:30 p.m., the inmates who had allegedly snorted the substance began having symptoms of an overdose, including incapacitation, Burchett said. Jail medical staff, deputy jailers, the Catlettsburg Fire Department and Boyd County EMS all provided treatment for the inmates before they were transported to the hospital. Burchett said the overdose-reversing drug Narcan was used by paramedics.

The Boyd County Detention Center’s drug detection K-9 was involved in the search as well as the Boyd County Sheriff's Department’s K-9.

Hayes had been booked in the jail after she, two other women and a Detroit man were arrested in Catlettsburg after the sheriff’s department executed an undercover drug buy of about 2 grams of crack cocaine.

Inmates Alma Amon, Courtney Bentley, Robyn Cloud, Geneva Deboard, Terri Noel, Kristin Seaman, and Valerie Spencer all were charged with promoting contraband first degree in connection to the incident.

Lethal batches of heroin laced with fentanyl and other opioids have circulated throughout the Tri-State and entire Appalachian region over the past two years, leading to most of the 30 overdose deaths in Boyd County alone last year and the incarceration of several current Boyd County Detention Center inmates.

Boyd Commonwealth Attorney David Justice said he sent a letter to the Catlettsburg Police Department offering the assistance of his office and the Boyd County grand jury in the police department’s ongoing investigation.

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