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Fentanyl poisoning linked to Yuba County inmate's death, deputies say

The sheriff's department said it's not clear how the drug made it into the jail

MARYSVILLE, Calif. — An inmate at the Yuba County jail died from fentanyl poisoning, according to the Yuba County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies said it's no clear how the synthetic opioid made it into the jail, but the investigation is ongoing.

The incident dates back to Nov. 2, when correctional officers responded to try and save Matthew D. Perez's life until paramedics ultimately took over. Despite their efforts, Perez died at a hospital.

A toxicology report indicated he died from fentanyl poisoning. 

“My heart goes out to the family of Mr. Perez,” says Yuba County Sheriff Wendell Anderson.  “The existence of drugs in our jail—and our community--is something that we have taken steps to curtail and is a never-ending problem. Correctional facilities across the nation are having ongoing problems with contraband, including fentanyl, which is inexpensive, widely available and easy to conceal. Those found to be in possession of narcotics will be held accountable, and we will work with our District Attorney to ensure they are prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

The sheriff's department said they'll be using a new body scanner for every person entering the jail starting early 2023.


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