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Second inmate dies from fentanyl overdose in Thurston County Jail

Six total fentanyl overdoses were reported at the jail since the beginning of March.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Two incarcerated people have died from fentanyl overdoses at the Thurston County Jail.

According to a press release from the Thurston County Sheriff's Office (TCSO), there have been six reported overdoses in the jail this month. 

On Tuesday, corrections officers found a man unresponsive in his cell around midnight. Anthony Baker, 36, was taken to the hospital and died on Wednesday, March 15.

Baker's mother, Cynthia Dole, says the jail faculty is not looking out for their prisoners.

"At least I knew where he was and he was safe. But now my son is dead," Dole said. "My question is how are the drugs getting into the Thurston County jail?

On March 9, corrections officers and medical staff responded to a medical emergency at 7:25 p.m. in one of the jail's housing areas. They found a man in his late 20s unresponsive in his cell. He was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital where he died on March 13.

Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock has identified the inmate who died Monday as Alec Nieland-Herrera, 28.

He was in the Thurston County jail awaiting a trial in April on a robbery charge.

Nieland-Herrera's grandmother, Peggy Nieland, said Nieland-Herrera was a father of two young boys who struggled with drug addiction.

"There was no crime that he did that was a death sentence," said Nieland.

She described him as a good father who loved his children.

Neiland said her grandson had been in and out of county jails over the past two years.

She was glad to know doctors were able to harvest Nieland's organs before he was declared dead.

"Five people are going to get a second chance. That's a blessing in it all," said Nieland.

She said the family wants to know how the drugs that killed her grandson and likely caused the other overdoses got into the jail.

"Maybe it'll save someone else," said Neiland.

Investigations into the overdoses will be conducted by the Mason County Sheriff's Office and the Region 3 Critical Incident Investigation Team.

According to TCSO, corrections officers and on-site medical staff provided CPR and Narcan to every person who overdosed. Four other inmates were revived at the jail.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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