Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster showed his appreciation to La Paz County Sheriff Bill Risen at the July 1 La Paz County Board of Supervisors meeting. He presented Risen and the jail staff with a plaque of appreciation for their assistance following an incident April 16 at the Mohave County Jail.
In that incident, seven inmates at the Mohave County Jail were treated for drug overdoses at the same time. Schuster said investigators found Hydrocodone pills laced with Fentanyl had been smuggled into the jail. They also learned the pills had been converted into powder. This meant an entire pod had to be evacuated and decontaminated.
The jail was at capacity at the time, and Schuster said he had no place for the inmates who had been evacuated. He contacted Risen, and the La Paz County jail agreed to take some of the inmates. Schuster said Coconino County also agreed to temporarily house some inmates. He added he’ll be thanking them next week, and that he’s looking forward to the trip as it will be cooler than in Parker.
Schuster thanked Risen for his department’s cooperation. He told the Supervisors and the audience that cooperation is essential for rural law enforcement.
“In law enforcement, we must work together,” he said
Jonathan Hutchinson, 24, of Parker, allegedly smuggled 30 counterfeit Hydrocodone pills into the Mohave County Jail, as well as an unknown quantity of methamphetamine. He allegedly stole car batteries from a Parker business and provided false ID when questioned about the incident.
Two other inmates, Michael Pauly, 29, of Nevada, and Anthony Colella, 52, were allegedly also in possession of small quantities of the pills.
Hydrocodone is an opioid that is prescribed for moderate to severe pain. The pills were laced with Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is many times more potent than heroin. It was intended for “end of life” pains for cancer patients and others. It was never meant to be used outside a hospital.