Crime And Law

Sheriff: Same inmate charged in Mercer County Jail OD attacked corrections staff in escape attempt

CELINA — A 23-year-old man arrested in connection to a Mercer County Jail inmate overdose earlier this month is the same inmate who injured two corrections officers Monday night in an escape attempt, Sheriff Jeff Grey announced.

RELATED: OD at Mercer County Jail has sheriff searching for smugglers

Zequiel Emerson Ahrns is now charged with illegal conveyance of drugs onto the grounds of a detention facility; two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs; and one count of aggravated possession of drugs, all felony charges related to the OD on March 20, Grey stated in a release.

RELATED: Inmate reportedly attacks corrections officer, attempts escape in Mercer County

Corrections officers found inmate Joseph D. Meinerding, 22, not breathing. Staff administered CPR until Mercer County EMS arrived and took him to Mercer Health. Six doses of the overdose-reversal drug Narcan were administered to revive Meinerding, Grey stated.

An investigation revealed that Ahrns had smuggled fentanyl into the jail during his March 19 arrest on burglary and theft charges, according to Grey.

Ahrns also is charged with two counts of kidnapping, two counts of robbery and one count of escape for allegedly attacking two corrections officers on Monday and taking control of Tasers in an escape attempt.

“When officers from Celina Police Department, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and sheriff's deputies arrived, a corrections officer was able to convince Ahrns to put down the Tasers and she was able to handcuff Ahrns to bring him under control,” Grey said.

The incident was over within eight minutes, the sheriff said.

The two corrections officers, a man and woman, were treated and released from Mercer Health but remain on medical leave.

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