By Shari Harris, Publisher
Autopsy results for offender Oryon Guinn have indicated a fentanyl level of 23 ng/ml was responsible for his death, according to Texas County Coroner Marie Lasater.
Guinn, age 38, was incarcerated at South Central Correctional Center in Licking when he died on September 10.
A chemical detected in the fentanyl indicates that it was created in a clandestine lab and was not pharmaceutical quality. Fatal levels of fentanyl can begin as low as 2 ng/ml, so the level in Guinn’s system far exceeded the fatal limit. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, 42 percent of pills tested for fentanyl contained at least 2 mg of fentanyl, considered a potentially lethal dose.
The autopsy results have not been finalized for offender DeMarco Washington, who died on September 30, however, Lasater confirms that toxicology results have indicated three times the lethal limit of fentanyl in Washington’s system.
Lasater reports only two overdose deaths occurred during the time visitors were not allowed at the prison due to COVID-19 restrictions. Deaths have increased since visitors have returned. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on October 22 that 19 inmates at three Missouri prisons have died or presumably died from opioid overdoses since March. They cited six confirmed or presumed at South Central Correctional Center in Licking since June, seven confirmed and an eighth presumed at Potosi Correctional Center, and five at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, including three since October 10 (each one pending toxicology reports).
The Missouri Department of Corrections has implemented policies in an attempt to reduce the flow of illegal drugs into the prisons. New restrictions on the receipt of paper mail by prisoners were designed to limit access to illegal substances. Further restrictions are in place to limit the physical interaction between visitors and offenders, as well as restrictions to what may be brought into the prison by visitors.