A Franklin County Regional Jail inmate has been indicted on charges of smuggling deadly narcotics into the correctional facility, allegedly leading to the overdose death of another inmate.
Deavine Jamal Lewis, 31, no hometown given, was indicted Tuesday by a Franklin County Circuit Court grand jury. The charges stem from the May investigation of the death of 48-year-old David D. Drury, of Lexington, after he overdosed while incarcerated at the jail. Lewis faces charges of first-degree trafficking in carfentanil or fentanyl derivatives, second or greater offense, a Class B felony; first-degree promoting contraband, a Class D felony; and two counts of first-degree persistent felony offender.
While the charges are related to the overdose, Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland said, Lewis has not been charged directly with Drury’s death because there is not a Kentucky state law to support a prosecution.
“I wanted to pursue this as a homicide, but the law isn't there,” Cleveland said. “Perhaps the U.S. Attorney’s Office will pick it up (as a federal case), but I don’t know that they will.”
Cleveland added that while there is a law against wanton murder, it does not explicitly cover passing of drugs that lead to overdose and death.
According to official reports, Drury was discovered at about 4:30 a.m. May 7 by jail staff “in medical distress.” Drury was taken to the hospital but later pronounced dead by the Franklin County Coroner’s Office, officers reported.
Cleveland said that some time earlier, Lewis had smuggled heroin laced with fentanyl into the jail “hidden in his body” after being picked up on an outstanding warrant during a traffic stop.
“He went through the body scan, but the body scan did not detect anything,” Cleveland said.
Lewis allegedly began trading the narcotics for various items, including a position on a bottom bunk of the general population dorm where Drury was also housed.
Cleveland said that none of the narcotics had been recovered from the scene but that eyewitness accounts linked Lewis to distribution of the fentanyl.
“Inmates in that area told consistent stories about the distribution,” Cleveland said.
Lewis also had previous charges in Shelby County of bringing contraband into the jail there, Cleveland added.
Drury’s cause of death had not been made public until recently released city documents revealed it was possibly due to overdose. However, the reports also revealed that the Kentucky Department of Corrections’ jail services specialist, Chris Holt, found no violations of Kentucky jail standards in Drury’s death.
He had been in custody for a little more than two years on charges of first-degree robbery, a Class B felony, and first-degree persistent felony offender.
No other arrests are expected in the case.