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CO hospitalized after drug exposure

FORT ANN — A state correction officer at Great Meadow Correctional Facility was hospitalized Thursday after he was exposed to the powerful opioid painkiller Fentanyl that was found hidden in a can of vegetables.

The officer was not seriously hurt and has since returned to duty after the incident at the maximum-security prison, according to the union that represents state corrections officers, New York State Corrections and Police Benevolent Association.

The union said the drugs and synthetic marijuana were found hidden in two aluminum cans of corn that had been mailed to a prisoner. An officer noticed they appeared to be tampered with, and opened them, finding three packets inside of a material that was not corn.

Synthetic marijuana, marijuana and Fentanyl had been hidden in the cans, and one officer was treated at Glens Falls Hospital after feeling unspecified “effects” for apparent exposure to the Fentanyl, according to NYSCOPBA.

“We have seen the lethal effects that Fentanyl has had across the country for those who chose to use the hazardous drug,” John Roberts, NYSCOPBA Northern Region vice president, said in a news release. “These type of drugs can make inmates extremely violent towards staff and a danger to others. DOCCS needs to change its policy once and for all and institute a secure vendor program that will help stem the amount of contraband getting into our prisons.”

The incident was under investigation this week and criminal charges possible against the person who mailed the drugs to the inmate.