Pair charged with smuggling drugs into EBR prison after inmate overdoses

A man was arrested after he allegedly smuggled drugs into the East Baton Rouge Prison, which resulted in one inmate dying from an overdose.

Dewayne Powell, 28, was charged with Distribution of Schedule 2 Narcotics- Fentanyl and entering contraband into a penal facility among other charges.

“Unfortunately the issue of contraband, particularly drugs, is a problem in prison facilities throughout our country. However, we will continue to conduct extensive searches to combat inmates that smuggle illegal drugs and contraband into the prison,” said Warden Dennis Grimes. “We will also work closely with city parish to do our best to secure the facility despite its age and poor setup.”

Authorities say homicide detectives responded to a call of an inmate overdose at the EBR Parish Prison on September 7th where two inmates were unresponsive even after officials administered Narcan.

Both inmates were transported to the hospital for treatment, where one recovered and Keith Rushing, 21, later died.

Rushing died as a result of a suspected overdose. Preliminary toxicology showed the presence of fentanyl and other opioids in his system, according to law enforcement. The EBR Coroner will complete a full toxicology and determine the final cause of death.

Rushing was arrested on January 21, 2022, by BRPD for possession of schedule 2 drugs-heroin and as a fugitive from justice from the Bell County Sheriff’s Office in Texas for possession of a controlled substance.

EBRSO immediately investigated the inmate’s death as well as the source of the narcotics at the facility. Detectives discovered that another inmate smuggled drugs into the facility and sold them to the other inmates. 

The investigation revealed that Powell instructed a woman to put the drugs inside an electric toothbrush and throw it over the prison fence on September 5, 2022. Detectives discovered that Powell ripped a toilet from the wall of the facility in order to gain access to the recreation yard to get the drugs thrown over the fence.

Officials say detectives interviewed the inmate who survived the Sept. 7th overdose and he stated he arranged for money to be sent to Powell’s girlfriend to purchase the drugs.

He stated that he and Rushing smoked and snorted “mojo” they purchased from Powell. “Mojo” is commonly sprayed with a chemical form of fentanyl or other synthetic opiates. 

On Sept. 13, 2022, law enforcement obtained arrest warrants for Powell and his girlfriend Ebony Bailey.

Narcotics agents executed a search warrant at Bailey’s residence located at 17232 Jefferson Highway and seized the following: 

  • 15.3 oz of Fentanyl (approximately street value $38,250)
  • 1.5 oz of Methamphetamine
  • 19.8 grams of Cocaine
  • 2.58 oz of marijuana 
  • 36 dosage units of Xanax
  • Numerous blenders with residue used to cut Fentanyl
  • $2,040 

Bailey told detectives Powell brought the drugs to her apartment before his recent arrest. She also admitted Powell told her to package drugs and transport them to parish prison. Bailey will be booked into the prison.

Dewayne Powell Charges

  • Distribution of Schedule 2 Narcotics- Fentanyl
  • Entering contraband into a penal facility
  • Simple Escape
  • Simple Criminal Damage to Property
  • PWITD Schedule 2-Fentanyl
  • PWITD Schedule 2-Cocaine
  • PWITD Schedule 2- Meth
  • PWITD 2 Marijuana.

Ebony Bailey Charges

  • Principle to Distribute Fentanyl
  • Entering Contraband into a Penal Institution
  • PWITD Schedule 2-Fentanyl
  • PWITD Schedule 2-Cocaine
  • PWITD Schedule 2- Meth
  • PWITD 2 Marijuana
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance in the Presence of a Juvenile. 

A small child was present at the residence at the time of the warrant. Detectives contacted DCFS. 

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