Woman suspected of bringing fentanyl into El Paso County jail reportedly got past numerous preventative security measures

The suspect is accused of causing the death of a fellow inmate.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 1:34 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 14, 2023 at 8:27 AM MDT
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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - A woman is suspected of dealing fentanyl resulting in the death of an inmate at the El Paso County Jail.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office publicly announced the arrest of Katariina Gibson on March 7. Gibson, a former inmate at the jail, was taken into custody on March 3 and charged with introducing contraband and proximate cause of death by unlawful distribution.

Arrest papers for Gibson obtained by 11 News on March 13 indicate she went through two body scans, a pat down search, and a strip search before being processed into the jail. Weeks later, detectives investigating a fentanyl death inside the jail looked back at the images from Gibson’s in-processing body scans. During the investigation, they found “abnormalities” inside her body, which is where Gibson is suspected of hiding narcotics pills, according to her arrest papers.

Gibson’s arrest papers also mention Letecia Stauch’s name. Stauch has been held in the El Paso County jail since 2020, and her own case has gained a lot of attention in which she’s accused of killing her stepson. In Gibson’s arrest papers, Stauch is mentioned as having briefly interacted with other inmates, who were allegedly tied to Gibson and the fentanyl death of inmate Renee Lowrence. To be clear, Stauch is not facing any charges in Lowrence’s death-- her name is simply mentioned as having been present in the moments leading up to Lowrence’s fentanyl death.

“On January 20, 2023, at 5:02 p.m., a female in the El Paso County Jail died while in custody,” part of a news release from the sheriff’s office reads. “A deputy sheriff found her unresponsive in her assigned cell. The deputy began lifesaving measures while requesting medical assistance over her issued radio. Life-saving measures were initiated by Sheriff’s Office personnel and medical staff until responders from the American Medical Response (AMR) and the Colorado Springs Fire Department took over medical care. Despite these efforts, the woman passed away.”

The woman who passed was identified as 44-year-old Renee Lowrance. The El Paso County Coroner’s Office ruled her death was the result of Fentanyl intoxication.

“Our sincere condolences to Renee Lowrance’s family and friends,” the sheriff’s office added in their news release.

The arrest came after the investigation was assigned to an El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Detective within Metro Narcotics.

“As your Sheriff, it is my duty to protect the citizens of El Paso County, and I will use every means possible to do so within the scope of the law,” part of a statement from El Paso County Sheriff Joe Roybal reads. “I thank our community and law enforcement members for supporting my Office in our fight against illegal drugs in our county. This is a warning to those who dare bring illegal contraband into my Jail. Those who bring drugs into the Jail will be investigated and held accountable for their actions to the extent the law allows. This represents just one area of prioritized focus for reducing Jail deaths.”

The full news release can be read below:

Metro Narcotics Makes Arrest for Drug Distribution Resulting in Death in the EPC Jail On January 20, 2023, at 5:02...

Posted by EPC Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, March 7, 2023