jail cell

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Sheriff: Macomb County Jail Inmate Dies Of Apparent Drug Overdose

December 20, 2018 - 5:27 pm

MOUNT CLEMENS (WWJ) - Officials at the Macomb County Jail are investigating the apparent overdose death of an inmate.

The Macomb County Sheriff's Office says Nicholas DiFranco died in the hospital after he a preliminary investigation found he and his cellmate crushed and snorted some sort of substance they received from another inmate.

Confirming the incident in a media release, the sheriff said Macomb County continues to be plagued by the nation's drug epidemic, with 30 to 60 percent of inmates on a drug withdrawal protocol, and 30 to 50 percent of inmates having a history of drug use. 

"A large percentage of the inmates continue to seek out narcotics under any means necessary while incarcerated," Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said, in a statement. "My staff and I are constantly reviewing and updating policies and increasing technology in the fight to eliminate contraband entering into our facility."

DiFranco, 30, has been jailed since November 7 on charges of embezzlement and possession of drug paraphernalia.  

Wickersham said, as an investigation continues, officials are still working to identify the substance was that killed DiFranco and to find out how it got into the jail. The cellmate, whose name has not been released, was hospitalized.

According to reports, this is the twentieth death inside the jail since 2012.