ANGOLA, La. — The state Department of Corrections is investigating after two inmates were found dead of suspected overdoses Wednesday night.
According to a news release, corrections officers found 31-year-old John Hatfield dead at 6:45 p.m. and found 42-year-old Kenneth LaCoste dead a little more than two hours later.
Both were in the Transitional Unit, a maximum security unit.
Hatfield was serving a life sentence for a March 3, 2016, second-degree murder conviction out of Beauregard Parish.
LaCoste was serving a 10-year sentence for a June 19, 2013, habitual attempted distribution of cocaine conviction out of Orleans Parish. He was scheduled for release on April 17, 2022.
After discovering the men, prison officials called staff and began an immediate search Wednesday night of the Transitional Unit, where the men were housed. Officers discovered contraband including small amounts of synthetic marijuana, small amounts of amphetamines, a cell phone and a small pocket knife.
Thursday, corrections officials continued the shakedown and mobilized more than 100 correctional officers and K-9 Teams to continue searching other areas of the facility. That search yielded two ice pick weapons, seven cell phones and four cell phone chargers.
Officials say Louisiana State Penitentiary is secure. The investigation is ongoing.