Drug suspect dies in Border Patrol custody

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Jail CellsCAMPO, Calif. — Authorities were working to determine what caused a man to die in a holding cell at the Campo Border Patrol station after being detained Christmas Eve, officials with the agency said Saturday.

Border Patrol agents at the Interstate 8 checkpoint arrested the man — whose name has been withheld — early Tuesday evening on suspicion of possession and intent to distribute about three pounds of marijuana, according to Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Paul Carr.

Drug paraphernalia and trace amounts of methamphetamine were found in the suspect’s vehicle, Carr said.

The man became incoherent and unresponsive while in a holding cell at the Campo Border Patrol station later that evening, Carr said.

Emergency medical personnel began CPR, and paramedics later took over, but the man died shortly after midnight Wednesday, he said.

The county Medical Examiner’s Officer was investigating the man’s cause of death, according to Carr.

The Department of Homeland security’s Office of Investigator General was looking into the incident, he said.

Carr said the Customs and Border Protection’s San Diego Sector Border Patrol was fully cooperating with investigators to ensure that a neutral third party reviewed all evidence and information surrounding the man’s death.

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