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September 22, 2023
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Local Task Force Investigates, Arrests Suspects After Multiple In-Custody Jail Fentanyl Overdoses; Possible Federal Charges

MPD Case 22-10134

MEDFORD, Ore. - The Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE) task force made three arrests recently after investigating the multiple in-custody Jackson County Jail fentanyl overdoses on June 20. At 11:25 the morning of the incident, a Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Corrections deputy was nearby when an Adult-In-Custody (AIC) began suffering from an apparent medical emergency. The deputy responded with Jail Medical to begin treatment when a second AIC also began exhibiting signs of an apparent overdose. Multiple agencies responded to assist including Medford Police Department (MPD), Medford Fire, JCSO Corrections and Patrol deputies, and Mercy Flights ambulances. In total, five doses of Narcan were administered between the two patients and they were both responsive as they were transported to a local hospital. After the initial emergency, MADGE began their investigation into the incident. 

MADGE discovered the primary suspect, Sylvia Rose Hutchinson-Hernandez, 26, of Toledo, Ore., brought more than an ounce of fentanyl inside the jail when she was lodged for a firearms charge. The fentanyl was concealed in multiple bags inside a body cavity. She then distributed the fentanyl to two additional suspects. She has been charged with unlawful possession of fentanyl - substantial quantity, unlawful delivery of a schedule II-controlled substance, unlawful manufacture of a counterfeit schedule II-controlled substance, and supplying contraband.

Upon receiving the fentanyl from Hutchinson-Hernandez, Jennifer Rene Wilkes, 34, of Talent, delivered the drugs to two AICs in her housing unit. She has been charged with unlawful delivery of a schedule II-controlled substance. After taking the fentanyl, both AICs began exhibiting signs of overdose and were transported to the hospital. One of the AICs was placed on a ventilator in the ICU, but both have since been cleared for confinement and are back in the Jail.

MADGE interviewed Sheena Ann Cortez, 37, of Medford, who admitted to receiving fentanyl from Hutchinson-Hernandez and delivering the drugs to another AIC in her housing unit. She has been charged with unlawful delivery of a schedule II-controlled substance and supplying contraband.

MADGE consists of detectives from MPD and JCSO and focuses on the illicit drug trade and gang activity in the Rogue Valley. This case is being forwarded to the Assistant United States Attorney’s (AUSA) office for possible additional federal charges. Further information will come from the Jackson County District Attorney’s office or AUSA. 


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