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Jones indicted in inmate death case

5/11/2018

By Tom Marshall
Senior Advocate writer

A Mt. Sterling man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for his alleged role in the drug overdose death of a Montgomery County Regional Jail inmate last November.

Kloud Jones, 26, was charged May 3 in U.S. District Court in Lexington, with knowingly and intentionally distributing a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl that resulted in the overdose death of Ryan Alan Smallwood, 25, of Frenchburg.

If convicted, Jones faces 20 years to life imprisonment and a fine of up to $1 million and three years supervised release. He would also be required to make restitution, if applicable.

Jones has been held at the MCRJ since Nov. 22 when he was brought in for allegedly violating the terms of his release on previous charges. He will now be turned over to the custody of federal authorities.

An investigation by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was launched Nov. 23, 2017, when Smallwood was found unresponsive during a cell check.

He was taken to St. Joseph Mt. Sterling Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Smallwood’s body was sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Frankfort for an autopsy, including a toxicology screen, which reportedly detected the drugs in his system, according to the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office has brought similar cases in federal court and will continue going after those who supply drugs that result in a fatal overdose, Sheriff Fred Shortridge said.

“We’ve been focused on that for some time,” he said.

The sheriff’s office has been working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to make these types of cases and expect more indictments to follow in other cases, the sheriff said.

Jennifer Combs Smallwood, Ryan’s mother, claims she learned from inmates who had been incarcerated with her son that he had reportedly ingested a combination of heroin/fentanyl.

Heroin is sometimes mixed with fentanyl, which is at least 50 times stronger than heroin.

The mother claimed in a previous Advocate interview that another inmate came in overnight with a bag containing the drugs and sold part of the drugs to her son, who by breakfast at 6 a.m. was feeling poorly.

Her son’s legs became shaky and a fellow inmate reportedly urged Smallwood to lie down on the bed, the mother said she was told. A short time later Smallwood was reportedly found lying face down dead in the bed, the mother claims.

That was about 7 a.m.

The mother claims her son had been clean for about eight months while he had been incarcerated and was not prepared for the effect of the alleged drugs he ingested.

Jennifer Smallwood told the Advocate in November that she never thought that any harm could come to her son while he was incarcerated.
“I thought my son would be safe when he was in there, but it’s not so,” she said at the time.

Smallwood was being held at the jail on charges of first-degree burglary and failure to appear.

An indictment is a formal accusation of a crime, but does not establish guilt.