A 29-year-old federal prisoner has become the first known incarcerated person in Nevada to die of the coronavirus, according to the federal public defender’s office.
Brandon Patton, 29, died while in custody at the Southern Nevada Detention Center, a federal facility in Pahrump, the Nevada federal public defender’s office said in a statement Friday. Attorneys had filed two motions for Patton’s release due to the coronavirus, but six weeks before Patton died, a judge ordered him to stay at the detention center.
Patton pleaded guilty in March to trafficking marijuana, use of a firearm during a crime and felon in possession of a firearm after prosecutors say he was found with two guns and marijuana while the North Dakota resident was in Nevada.
Patton had “serious pre-existing health conditions,” including congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, the statement said.
His public defenders had argued to release him from pretrial custody, meaning Patton had not been convicted of any charges for which he was being held on.
His sentencing hearing had been moved from June to December, according to federal documents.
The detention center is run by CoreCivic, a private company, and houses federal prisoners who were sentenced there or who are awaiting trial, along with ICE detainees. It is also the only federal detention center in Nevada.
ICE reported four inmates under isolation and 11 total COVID cases within the ICE segment of the detention center.
In an email Saturday, Amanda Gilchrist, the CoreCivic public affairs director, declined to answer questions regarding Patton’s death or the current number of cases throughout the inmate population at the detention center.
“In deference to our government partner, questions regarding the death at Nevada Southern Detention Center should be directed to the United States Marshals Service,” she wrote.