Prisoner dies, 2 others hospitalized after suspected drug overdose

Posted at 8:05 PM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-23 20:05:38-05

Seth Zakora, courtesy MDOC.

COLDWATER, Mich. — A prisoner in Coldwater died this weekend and two others were hospitalized with suspected drug overdoses.

Seth Zakora, 21, died while being held at the Lakeland Correctional Facility Sunday, according to Michigan Department of Corrections spokesperson Chris Gautz.

A source with the prison told the Detroit Free Pressthat Zakora died from a suspected overdose, but Gautz wouldn’t say one way or the other the cause of death, saying it will be determined by the medical examiner. But he did say a suboxone strip was found in the cell of one of the prisoners who was hospitalized, though a definite connection between the overdose and the medicine has not been made.

Suboxone is used a treatment of addiction to opiates such as heroin. It can be available in small, film-like strips, which poses a problem for the prisons Gautz says, because of how easy it is to smuggle in.

Gautz says prison staff sometimes screen for suboxone by cutting the stamps on incoming pieces of mail, as a thin strip of suboxone can be hidden behind the stamp.

One of the two prisoners has returned to the prison; the other remains in the hospital.

Zakora was in prison for a sexual assault he was convicted for out of Eaton County.