Correction: An earlier version mistakenly listed the state as Ohio, not West Virginia.
Huntington, WV - Four people have been arrested in connection with heroin delivered to a hospital patient, and the accidental overdose of two Cabell County police officers.
He decided that he needed heroin, so he gave $40 to Isiah Mathis, age 20, and Kelsey Danielle Runyon, age 20, to buy it from another suspect known as 'Hollywood'.. Mathis and Runyon left the hospital, bought the heroin, and hid it at the hospital where Bates could find it. Runyon then called Bates to tell him where they had hidden the heroin.
Bates found it, took it, and overdosed. Officers responded to the hospital on Friday, July 14 and seized evidence from Bates, "a piece of brown, folded paper containing a blue powder".
The officers returned to the police department to log the paper and powder into evidence. During the process, as one officer processed the blue powder, he began to feel the effects of an opioid overdose (Note: The term "overdose" is the official term, no matter if the ingestion was intentional or not.)
A second officer, who was standing nearby, but was not involved in processing the evidence, also began feeling the effects as well. Police Chief Joe Ciccarelli said that while his officers handle evidence like this daily, that the officers may have been distracted by a combative prisoner in a nearby "booking facility."
Both officers realized that they were overdosing, and gave themselves a dose of Narcan nasal spray. They were also hospitalized briefly for observation before being released. The names of the officers have not been released, and both are back to normal duty.
Court records described the substance as 'heroin', but it is believed to be "a fentanyl mix", according to Jim Johnson, from the mayor's Office of Drug Control Policy.
Warrants had been issued against Runyon, Bates (who survived his overdose thanks to already being in a hospital), and Mathis, and they were arrested on July 14.
The drug dealer known as 'Hollywood' was familiar to police, and he was confirmed to be William Hackney, age 25. While his clients were being arrested, Hackney had left town to resupply in Akron. He was seen in town when he returned, and he was arrested on an outstanding warrant from another county.
While Hackney was being arrested, he dropped a bag of green heroin, very similar to the powder that was given to Bates. He also had a loaded 9 MM handgun inside his apartment, which he cannot own or possess because he is a convicted felon.
In 2014, Hackney pleaded guilty to one count of felony possession of heroin.
Hackney was charged with delivery of a controlled substance, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Bates, Runyon and Matias were charged with delivery of a controlled substance and being a felon in possession of a firearm and conspiracy.
Bates was also charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.
Federal charges of three counts each of delivery of a controlled substance resulting in injury are being sought, according to Chief Ciccarelli.
Do you think that the suspects should be charged with additional charges for the overdosing officers? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.