Two female inmates have been charged with trafficking drugs inside the Penobscot County Jail. The investigation that led to the charges began on Jan. 19 after three female inmates, including one of the women charged, overdosed.

Karen Jordan, 30, of Springfield is charged with two counts of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs, a Class A crime, and one count of trafficking in prison contraband, a Class C crime.

Heather Carlow, 39, of Portland, is charged with two counts of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs, a Class A crime, and one count of violation of a condition of release, a Class D crime.

Even though Carlow, who overdosed, was unable to post bail, the condition that she not use drugs applied to her while she was in jail.

The Penobscot County Sheriff’s office has not released the name of the inmate who reportedly brought the drugs into the facility.

In addition to the new charges, Jordan and Carlow both have pending drug, theft and other misdemeanor and felony charges.

Jordan and Carlow made their first court appearances Friday remotely at the Penobscot Judicial Center from the jail. They were not asked to enter pleas because they have not yet been indicted by a Penobscot County grand jury.

Superior Court Justice Ann Murray set bail for Jordan’s and Carlow’s new charges at $5,000 each. Conditions include no contact with four other inmates who are women, so it is highly likely one or both defendants will be moved to a different facility.

The women who overdosed were taken to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, treated and returned to the jail, Sheriff Troy Morton said Thursday in a Facebook post. The investigation determined that a female inmate had smuggled into the facility in a body cavity 18 grams, or more than half an ounce, of fentanyl. Correctional staff located the container of drugs.

“These incidents put many lives at risk, including the individuals who smuggle drugs, other inmates, staff and vendors,” Morton said in the Facebook post. “This dangerous criminal behavior also negatively impacts those who are trying to maintain sobriety, including many in the jail’s MAT (medication-assisted treatment) program.”

The jail does not yet have body scanning equipment that might have allowed the vial containing the drugs to be detected when the woman entered the jail. Penobscot County Commissioners approved spending $160,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds after they learned the purchase was allowed under the U.S. Treasury guidelines, but the scanner has not yet arrived, Morton said.

If convicted, Jordan and Carlow face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on the drug trafficking charges.