Sheriff says overdose killed jail inmate

June 25, 2014
Timothy Richard Janowicz

Timothy Richard Janowicz

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department said the third man to expire while in custody this year died from an acute heroin overdose.

On May 30, Timothy Richard Janowicz, 29, was found dead on his bunk at the San Luis Obispo County Jail. The Atascadero High School graduate became addicted to drugs after being accidentally shot in the stomach as a teen.

The coroner’s report also lists significant conditions of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease as a contributing factor in Janowicz’ death.

Sheriff detectives are continuing to investigate how this inmate was able to obtain the heroin while inside the jail.

In a press release, sheriff officials said that the smuggling of contraband is an ongoing problem at county jails. The department has budgeted this year to purchase a digital security screening system which detects all types of contraband, internally and externally.

Janowicz is the third San Luis Obispo County Jail inmate to die this year shortly after being discovered incapacitated in a cell. Several former inmates and local attorneys contend conditions at the jail are so poor that multiple inmates have marred skin from the widespread incidences of staph infections.

On Jan. 23, Rudy Joseph Silva, 35, was discovered unconscious in his cell. He was transported to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center where he died of influenza and a staphylococcus infection four days later.

In March, Josey Meche, 28, was found unresponsive on a cell floor and died shortly afterwards from a heart attack. At the time of his death, he had a 105.1 temperature, a staph infection and a toxic level of methamphetamine in his system, according to the autopsy report.

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Every member of our law enforcement community should be drug tested randomly with a frequency equal to twice per year, on average.


Well, this is unsat. How can all these drugs get in with all those hard working, highly paid guards and officers? Time to clean house? Twice in six months? Really? If the officers in charge of that facility were doing their jobs, it’d be clean and safe.

Look at prisons. They have always had an ongoing drug problem that never seems to get resolved.


HOW do the drugs get in?

Maybe the inmates stick the drugs up their ass? Of course you’d probably be thefirst to complain if everybody that is arrested received a cavity search…

you know, “civil rights violation” and all that stuff.

I’d be interested in hearing from all of those who wrongfully blamed the

county employees in comments related to original story as covered in

It seemed like they had it all figured out yet NONE had any of the facts.

Not a peep from any of them. Not even so much as a “whoops.”

Ah see where people like you (e.g. police) totally miss the boat, is the issue that in many of these cases the people wouldn’t be IN lockup in the first place if it wasn’t for the state putting them there. I think most of us figure if you’re going to throw someone behind bars for a nonviolent victim-less (i.e. no direct victim) crime then you better make damn sure that they aren’t hurt while they’re in there or it’s on you.

Heroin use is NOT a non-violent crime. Just ask the 70,000 people who have died in Mexico during the drug wars between rival gangs. The drug trade kills people along the whole trail from production to user.

Let me explain something to you. Using heroin IS A NON VIOLENT CRIME. You can argue all day long about the INDIRECT effects such as the cartels and overdoses and anything else you want, but the bottom line is that one guy going to shoot up heroin is not an incidence of violence toward someone else. We’re not going to get anywhere if you can’t use the English language properly.

Secondly, and this why the distinction between direct and indirect is important, one could argue that the violence associated with the drug trade is not a result of the use of the drugs but the fact that they are illegal and everything that comes along with that. If you do not understand this cause and effect concept, perhaps you could do a little reading on the prohibition of alcohol.

Quite frankly, your presumptive connection between violence and drug use, resulting in you making a statement as idiotic as “heroin use is NOT a non-violent crime,” is very disturbing. I guess if you committed a violent crime, and your mother had you out of wedlock, then we could just make the same kind of connection about premarital sex.

billboard in southern utah, huge coiled rattlesnake rearing back, mouth open saliva dripping from the fangs with the text explaining “pornography kills” (Utah top porn download state) see how that works? prop8?

seesfarther asks “HOW do the drugs get in?”

Perhaps the employees are diversifying… cigarettes, cell phones, AND drugs? You know, they really need to supplement their lousy pay and benefits.

The problem is that the police and the guards think they are above being searched or made to pass through the same digital scanner that the public will be made to pass through. The LE even refuse DRUG TESTING and that has got to STOP.

We know darn well that they are not above using drugs, blackmailing citizens and prisoners and selling the drugs themselves (granted it’s a very small percentage but those bad apples exist). All anyone has to do is to read the news and we know all about it. Fact is that an honest officer/CO shouldn’t mind being drug tested for his line of work just like anyone else and a CO should have to pass a contraband inspection just like the public, it just makes sense. I know of a couple ( guy and live in gal friend) who were guards at the prison several years ago and were caught bringing in methamphetamine. It was never released in the press. They weren’t the first and they weren’t the last and I wonder how often this really happens as compared to the violations that the public is actually made privy to?

The real moral of the story is: if you can’t keep drugs out of jails and prisons, then you can’t keep them off the streets so stop wasting resources and lives doing it.

Cleaning house would cost the county millions of dollars. It’s just not worth it. It would be much better to improve the operation and organization and install more cameras and increased surveillance.

Why spend the millions on cleaning house when you can spend it on the salaries of overpaid corrections officers who are obviously NOT DOING THEIR JOBS. eh?