A spokesman for the Iowa Department of Public Safety has revealed the potential type of illegal drugs that were found inside an Iowa prison facility earlier this month. Sergeant Scott Bright says the pills or capsules, hundreds of them, were white and orange in color. “I believe the one came back as possible cocaine and Demerol was part of the other one,” Bright says.
Demerol is a narcotic, prescription pain reliever. The actual content of the capsules, however, remains unknown. “The initial field testing done by the prison came back positive for controlled substances,” Bright says. “When we had agents from the Division of Narcotics Enforcement pick up the 200 to 300 tablets, we did some testing and it came back negative on our side.”
The capsules were discovered during a routine inspection at the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City. They’re now being examined at the state crime laboratory in Ankeny. “We have put a rush on it to try and get the results back as soon as possible,” Bright says. “Sometimes the results are not ready for 90 days, but we’ve asked for a rush to be put on this so we can find out what was inside those capsules.”
The minimum security facility in Calhoun County houses around 490 inmates who are classified as “low risk” offenders. It remains unclear how the pills slipped through security. “They’re still investigating how (the pills) got into the prison,” Bright said.
The union representing the largest share of state government workers has called the incident a “major security breach” and blames “low staffing and a lack of sufficient training at Iowa’s correctional facilities.” A release from AFSCME Iowa Council 61 also claims, since the discovery of the pills, “numerous inmates at the North Central Correctional Facility have tested positive for marijuana.”