2 DC Jail inmates die, 1 hospitalized after apparent overdoses

Two D.C. Jail inmates are dead and a third is hospitalized after suspected overdoses.

Ramone O’Neal, 28, and Sean Lee, 37, died while in custody, according to a Department of Corrections source. WTOP obtained the death reports for both Lee and O’Neal.

The question of how drugs got into the jail and who else could have them is top of mind for city officials.



Ward 8 Council member Trayon White, who is running for mayor, posted a video on Twitter before visiting the jail. White said he spoke with O’Neal’s mother, who he said is “outraged, having last heard from her son on Mother’s Day.”

O’Neal was discovered unresponsive and unconscious at 3:32 a.m. Friday.

“Two deaths within three days. I mean, something is going on in here that we need to know about and need to address,” White said.

On Sunday at 4:32 p.m., both Lee and his cellmate were discovered unconscious, the jail spokesperson confirmed. Officers revived his cellmate with NARCAN and rushed him to the hospital, where he is recovering.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said she’s alarmed by the possible overdose deaths.

“I don’t know that any jail is contraband proof, but we certainly have our focus on keeping all illegal items out of the jail,” Bowser said at a news conference Monday. “When our investigation is complete we’ll know more,”

Until the autopsies are returned, jail officials said they cannot be sure of the overdoses, but it was the initial observation by officers. The jail is also investigating the detection and interception of contraband and is conducting more searches of the facility.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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