More details of the drug overdose at the Henry County Jail Saturday has become available in a media release from Captain Wayne Davis. 33-year-old Jennifer Nicole Swinney, of 245 Urban Drive in Axton came to the Henry County Jail as a visitor at 9:28 AM Saturday morning. Unknown to the jail staff, she was in possession of narcotics hidden in a body cavity. Deputies discovered that Swinney was wanted for a contempt of court charge. According to the release, Swinney was searched by the arresting deputy and turned over to the jail staff. The staff processed her into the facility, which included a search of her person. Neither the arresting deputy nor the jail staff discovered the smuggled narcotics. At 10:30 AM Swinney was placed into the jail population. Once inside, Swinney produced the drugs identified by Captain Davis only as an “opiate.” Swinney and two other inmates, 25-year-old Mikayla Jae Thomas of 3573 Longview Dr., Collinsville and 24-year-old Kimmarie Dawn Kennon of 1380 Trent Hill Dr., Bassett snorted the drugs. Although the release does not identify which of the women began suffering from an apparent medical issue, at 12:30 PM the Henry County Department of Public Safety responded and one female was taken to the Martinsville Hospital. The Fieldale-Collinsville Volunteer Rescue Squad also responded and checked a second unidentified female inmate and determined that she required no medical treatment.

Mikayla Jae Thomas

The release explains that Swinney was able to get away with smuggling the drugs in because they are unable to detect narcotics being concealed inside of a body cavity using standard search procedures.

Swinney has been charged with possession and distribution and Thomas and Kennon have been charged with possession. All three are in the Henry County Jail under no bond.

Kimmarie Dawn Kennon

When asked what specific drug was used in this incident, Captain Davis said “laboratory testing has only identified it as an opiate: and he was “unable to provide any additional information at this point.” A google search for an opiate, commonly snorted, listed as a schedule I substance (as identified in the release) reveals heroin as the likely drug.

As previously reported, Martinsville Sheriff Steve Draper says current procedures in use makes it likely that if someone were determined to smuggle illegal drugs into the jail, they would likely succeed.

Martinsville is 3-4 on the season. They play at Savannah against the Bananas today at 7 PM. They return home on Saturday.

Complete Media Release

On June 8, 2019, at approximately 9:28 am Jennifer Nicole Swinney, 33, of 245 Urban Dr., Axton, VA came to the Henry County Jail to take part in the jail’s inmate visitation. Deputies discovered that Swinney was wanted on an outstanding warrant for contempt of court. The arresting deputy conducted a search of Swinney, and she was turned over to the jail staff who then processed her into the facility and conducted an intake search of her person. Swinney was placed into the jail population at approximately 10:30 am.

At approximately 12:30 pm, the Henry County Jail staff was made aware of a female inmate who was suffering from an apparent medical issue. The Henry County Department of Public Safety responded to the jail where they transported one female inmate to SOVAH Health Martinsville. The inmate was treated and released back to the custody of the Henry County Jail. A second female inmate of the Henry County Jail was checked by the Fieldale-Collinsville Volunteer Rescue Squad, she required no medical treatment.

Through the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Jennifer Nicole Swinney concealed narcotics inside of a body cavity prior to being taken into custody by deputies. Due to the narcotics being concealed inside of a body cavity, they were unable to be detected by standard search procedures. After Swinney was placed into the jail population, she and two other inmates snorted the opiates.

Jennifer Nicole Swinney, 33, of 245 Urban Dr., Axton, VA was charged with the following:

  • Possession of a schedule I substance
  • Distribution of a schedule I substance
  • Possession of a chemical compound within a correctional facility

All Charges are felonies. Swinney is currently held in the Henry County Jail without bond.

Mikayla Jae Thomas, 25, of 3573 Longview Dr., Collinsville, VA was charged with possession of a chemical compound within a correctional facility (felony). Thomas is currently held in the Henry County Jail without bond.

Kimmarie Dawn Kennon, 24, of 1380 Trent Hill Dr., Bassett, VA was charged with possession of a chemical compound within a correctional facility (felony). Kennon is currently held in the Henry County Jail without bond.