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A poisoner with methadone in the prison of Huelva

The episode of poisoning multiple registered on the 15th of November in the Penitentiary Centre of Huelva, and that affected six Prison officers, members of the medical team, it was neither unique nor accidental. The investigation initiated by Correctional Institutions and the National Police have uncovered at least three other cases since August. It has also confirmed the initial suspicions that it is not a simple accidental poisonings, but the poisoning intentional. The identity of the author or authors is still a mystery, according to confirmed police sources. It is not, however, the substance used: methadone, an opioid used in the treatment of the effects of the abstinence syndrome in heroin addicts and that is provided in prisons under strict medical control.

The episode that uncovered the incident happened on the afternoon of the last day 15. Six health from the prison of huelva began to feel ill shortly after lunch. Demonstrating dizziness and feeling of weakness. The first urine test that they conducted were positive for methadone and benzodiazepine, a psychotropic used against anxiety. The analysis of blood practiced to all of them after arriving at the hospital confirmed the presence of the first of these substances.

In the ‘carton’ of milk

Prison immediately opened an internal investigation and alerted the security forces, who shifted to the jail for a team of the Scientific Police to collect samples of the food they had consumed the affected. Laboratory tests have confirmed that a milk carton that the six officers had been used in the coffee of that day showed traces of methadone. The people affected remained several days in the hospital, although the life of none of them ran, danger, stress Indoor sources. All of them have been already discharged.

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The unusual case took to the responsible of the research to trace the possible existence of other, similar episodes in the jail and that they would have gone unnoticed. According to police sources, already detected three other cases. The first occurred last August. The last, a week before we knew the poisoning of the six health. In the three, the methadone was swallowed, mixed with food. One of the affected said that he began to feel ill after taking a bowl of stew whose taste he described as “bitter”. In the latter case, the affected party blamed in a first moment the discomfort to a health problem, and even went to a doctor to find the reason of the dizziness. Medical tests later revealed that he had also swallowed involuntarily the opioid. In the first two cases, the elapsed time has been prevented by testing, although the sources consulted emphasize that the symptoms that presented both point in the same direction.

Penitentiary Institutions has already handed over to the police a full report with all the material collected, according to confirmed police sources. In the same it is noted that the methadone is permanently in custody. In the case of the prison of Huelva, which is stored in a locked cabinet which, in turn, is located in a closed room within the infirmary of the prison. According to the information provided by the prison to the police, this last stay only has access to the health staff of the jail. Two prisoners —one functions of watchman, and another is responsible for cleaning— usually move through the rooms of the infirmary, but none of them have access to the keys of the cupboard of medicines.

The report of Prisons points out that at any time was detected which had been stolen methadone. It also clarifies that there are no surveillance cameras in that area of the jail, which prevents you from knowing who entered the room. Union sources emphasize that in the prison also deals with methadone already that some prisoners who receive the treatment get to hide in the doses delivered to them and then sell them to other inmates.

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