SLO County inmate dies of drug overdose, another survives

A 56-year-old San Luis Obispo County Jail inmate died of a suspected drug overdose on Friday, while another inmate required medical treatment for an opioid overdose, according to the sheriff’s department.

After eating his lunch, guards watched Ernest Leonard Ortiz of Grover Beach return to his 51 inmate cell. Shortly afterwards, another inmate asked guards for help, Ortiz was unconscious.

Officers and medical staff attempted to revive Ortiz through CPR and narcan (an opioid blocker that can reverse an overdose), but were unsuccessful.

A short time later, another inmate who had been seen with Ortiz earlier, collapsed from what appeared to be a drug overdose. Jail staff injected the man with Narcan, and he survived.

Deputies booked Ortiz into jail in March for violating his probation. He was scheduled to be released on July 18, 2020. The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office is conducting an investigation into his death.

Jails across the state are dealing with incidents of drug overdoses, which could possibly be related to synthetic opioids. Synthetic opioids can be manufactured illegally in clandestine labs. The potency is often stronger than other opioids and can be unreliable.

Last week, 13 inmates and five custody deputies required medical treatment for exposure to opioids at the Santa Barbara County Jail. In that case, everyone survived.

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One Comment about “SLO County inmate dies of drug overdose, another survives”

  1. Holmes J says:

    WOW !

    Finally after death after deaths in custody, our Pathetic DA Dan Dow is finally going to Investigate ?

    I recall when Andrew Holland died at the hands of other people, Dow said ” It is NOT MY job to investigate ? Now it is his Job ? Hum smells pretty clear cut not only corruption is still going on, but the DA has unclean hands in many cases.

    So “Danny” boy why did you neglect the many other deaths ? Why have so many of your DDA’s quit or transferred ? so many interns quit as well as more to come.

    I can tell what many have said is your “Dishonest” fake, fraud, news publicity hound thinking your will run for a higher officer, the sooner you leave SLO the safer we the people we be with a honest, ethical, transparent DA, YOU Sir are NOT FIT to maintain the office of the DA.

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