Woman accused of drugs, overdose in jail

Taylor Foley

Taylor Renee Foley was in the Lawrence County jail in October 2019, facing nine pending cases of criminal charges, some of them drug-related, when she was caught with suspected heroin in the jail, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday against her.

Foley, 23, of Ellwood City is now facing charges stemming from that incident after she hid the drugs inside a body cavity and ultimately suffered an overdose, according to a detailed account of the incident written in a criminal complaint filed by the Lawrence County district attorney's office.

A series of incidents involving the drugs began Oct. 8, when a district attorney's detective was called to the jail regarding Foley, an inmate, having a suspected controlled substance in her possession, according to the report.

A district attorney's detective learned that Foley initially had tried to pass the suspected drugs to her attorney as payment during an interview, telling her that the drugs were worth $10,000, the paperwork states. The attorney refused to accept the drugs and the interview ended, the detective said. He then reviewed jail surveillance video that showed Foley in a holding cell when a bag containing a suspected controlled substance fell from the leg of her shorts. The video shows Foley apparently tucking it into a private area of her body, according to the report.

Foley was taken to UPMC Jameson for treatment for a suspected controlled substance inside her body, where medical staff advised that it could be "a possible life or death situation." She told hospital personnel and investigators that the drugs were wrapped in five plastic bags, the report said. UPMC Jameson staff sent Foley to UPMC Horizon in Farrell for a gynecological exam.

A couple of days later, on Oct. 10, Foley was taken to UPMC Jameson for a reported overdose at the jail. Two doses of Narcan were administered at the jail before her transport, the complaint states. She was treated at UPMC Jameson, then transported to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh for further treatment.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for her medical records at Presbyterian Hospital, which showed that she screened positive for cocaine and opiates. As she was being released from the hospital, she dropped a plastic bag containing suspected drugs from her pant leg, and it was confiscated by UPMC staff and a county sheriff deputy, the report states.

Foley is charged with possession and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance as contraband, possession of a controlled substance as contraband by an inmate, tampering with physical evidence and obstructing administrative law or other governmental function.

According to the district attorney's detective who filed the charges, after the incident Foley was moved to the Mercer County Jail, where she remains incarcerated. A warrant has been issued for arrest on the charges, and she will be transported to Lawrence County for arraignment, he said.

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