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Inmate accused of smuggling in drugs that led to overdoses

May 17, 2019

KINGMAN — Investigation into the April overdose of five Mohave County Adult Detention Center inmates has concluded that contraband was smuggled into the jail by an inmate, according to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.

“Detectives learned that inmate Jonathan Hutchinson, 24, of Parker, had smuggled contraband into the detention facility in his body cavity,” a news release from the sheriff’s office stated. “The investigation revealed that Hutchinson had smuggled into the detention facility approximately 30 counterfeit Hydrocodone 30 mg pills and an unknown amount of methamphetamine.”

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Anita Mortensen said DPS crime lab analysis confirmed that the Hydrocodone pills were created with use of the synthetic opioid known as Fetanyl. She said a small amount of the substance was found in the possession of inmates Michael Pauly, 29, of Mesquite, Nevada, and Anthony Colella, 52, of Lake Havasu City.

Mortensen said the Mohave County Attorney’s office will review the findings while contemplating additional charges against Hutchinson, Pauly and Colella.

On April 16, five inmates suffered medical emergencies at the Kingman facility and were taken to Kingman Regional Medical Center for treatment. Hutchinson, Paul and Colella reportedly were not among those five inmates.

The detention center briefly was placed on lockdown and an investigation was launched to uncover the source of what authorities believed were synthetic opioids that had reached the inmates. Eventually, 50 inmates in the jail’s J-Pod unit for men were transferred to jail facilities in La Paz and Coconino counties while the J-Pod was searched and decontaminated. The jail returned to normal activities — and the transferred inmates were returned to Kingman — late last month.

“We’re back to normal,” said Don Bischoff, jail commander. “We’ve been back to regular operations since April 29.”

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