The Worcester County (Mass.) sheriff has ordered minimum security inmates to undergo random weekly drug tests in the wake of a suspected heroin overdose at the jail, the second death in five days.
John Yovino, 38, was found unconscious in his bunk at 3 a.m. last Sunday after his cellmate banged on the steel door for help, Deputy Superintendent Jeffrey Turco said.Yovino, who was serving a two-month sentence for assault and parole violations, was pronounced dead at the hospital despite desperate attempts to revive the Fitchburg resident with CPR and a defibrillator.
"The device wouldn't work. There was no heartbeat,'' Turco said.
Sheriff Guy Glodis instituted a zero tolerance policy when he took office Jan. 6 and pledged to prosecute any inmate who breaks the law, Turco said.
Glodis plans to charge 16 inmates with drug possession after they tested positive after a sweep of all 128 prisoners in the Francis J. Deignan building. Of those 16, 14 tested positive for opiates, one for cocaine and one for marijuana.
Turco said officials believe inmates received the drugs at contact visits, which have been suspended. Those in minimum security and work release will be drug tested.
Daniel McMullen, 42, of Douglas was taken off life support at a Worcester hospital Wednesday, 20 days after his cellmate kicked him in the head and torso during a fight over a pack of playing cards.