Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Graham, NC 27253
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How did inmate get deadly drugs into jail?

QUESTION: How was an inmate able to smuggle a “baggie” of fentanyl into Alamance County’s jail last month, causing two other detainees to overdose – one of them fatally?

ANSWER: It wasn’t a specially-made birthday cake that Torre Jamel Haith used to slip a bag of illegal narcotics into Alamance County’s jail.

In fact, the 33-year-old black male may have relied on nothing more than his birthday suit to get this contraband past the jail’s detention staff when he was booked on a whole slate of drug-related offenses on November 5.

To put it delicately, Haith apparently stashed the drugs inside his body.

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[Editor’s Note: more detail about that process of hiding the contraband, reported below, may be too graphic for some readers.]

That, at least, was the inference which sheriff Terry Johnson made in response to a recent inquiry from The Alamance News about this well-concealed stash, which was ultimately blamed for a pair of overdoses that occurred inside the jail later that month.

According to the sheriff’s office, adverse reactions to an unauthorized drug caused two inmates to lose consciousness within 45 minutes of each other on the morning of November 22. Although the jail’s staff managed to resuscitate one of the inmates, the other succumbed to the substance he had ingested.

The sheriff’s office eventually traced these two overdoses to a bag of powder in Haith’s possession that was later found to contain the powerful opioid fentanyl.

Haith presumably had this deadly narcotic with him when he was arrested on November 5 for crimes that included trafficking in methamphetamine, the possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell or deliver the same, and maintaining a vehicle for the sale or delivery of narcotics.

The alleged drug trafficker apparently held on to his stash during a 14-day quarantine, which has become a standard part of the jail’s intake procedures due to the potential threat of COVID-19. Haith was eventually released into the jail’s general population on November 19 – a mere three days before the overdoses that were later traced back to his alleged stash of narcotics.

The sheriff didn’t miss a beat last week when he was asked to explain just how Haith could’ve smuggled this lethal concoction past the detention center’s security.

“Up his butt,” he discreetly whispered to the reporter who posed this question.

Johnson noted that the challenges raised by this smuggling technique have persuaded him to invest in some specialized equipment that he hopes will avoid any further tragedies among the county’s detainees.

“We’re looking at getting x-ray machines to do body cavity searches,” he said, adding that he ultimately plans to ask the county’s board of commissioners for permission to spend roughly $100,000 on these machines.

THE PUBLIC ASKS: Have a question about a matter of public record? Call The Alamance News at 228-7851; write to the newspaper at P.O. Box 431, Graham, NC 27253; or e-mail

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