CA: Corrections deputy Exposed to Suspected Fentanyl in Mendocino County Jail

Mendacono County Sheriff’s Office Press Release –

On Friday April 23, 2021 at about 6:24 PM, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office brought in Arrestee Dakota Johnson, 24, of Willits, for booking into the Mendocino County Jail.  Johnson was arrested for several warrants in addition to Possession of a Controlled Substance, False Identification to a Peace Officer, and Possession of a Baton. After the reception process, staff brought Johnson to the Women’s Jail holding cell area.  A female Corrections Deputy exchanged Arrestee Johnson’s personal clothing for jail-issued clothing.  While doing so, suspected drugs fell out of Johnson’s clothing.

After recovering the suspected drugs and placing the arrestee in a holding cell, the Corrections Deputy began to walk out of the building at about 6:49 PM.  A short ways later, the Corrections Deputy said that she wasn’t feeling well and collapsed.  A Corrections Sergeant that was walking with her summoned assistance from staff and jail medical personnel.  Correctional staff recognized that the female Corrections Deputy was experiencing an exposure to an opioid.  They began administering Naloxone, a medication designed to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.  Emergency medical services were summoned while jail medical staff attended to the Corrections Deputy.  Additional doses of Naloxone were administered while awaiting the arrival of EMS.

Emergency medical services arrived at about 6:59 PM and began caring for the Corrections Deputy.  She was transported by ambulance personnel to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley at about 7:04 PM.  The Corrections Deputy was released from the hospital after several hours of treatment and was taken home by family members to continue her recovery.

A preliminary test of the suspected drugs indicated that they contained fentanyl, a strong opioid.  Fentanyl exposure can come from breathing it in, ingesting it, or even by absorbing it through the skin, which makes it extremely dangerous for all first responders.  The additional charge of bring drugs into the correctional facility was added to Johnson’s prior charges.  Because of COVID-19 and the zero bail schedule currently in effect, Johnson was released from custody after signing a promise to appear in court.

We would like to thank NaphCare, our jail medical services provider, and Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Corrections staff for their quick actions and immediate attention to the Deputy, saving her life.  We would also like to thank Medstar Ambulance, Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and Adventist Health Ukiah Valley for continuing treatment and allowing our Deputy to return home to her family.  Naloxone, credited with saving the Deputy’s life, has been provided to Corrections personnel from Mendocino County Health and Human Services, a partnership for which we are extremely grateful.

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