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Death of man in Border Patrol custody investigated

The San Diego County Medical Examiner's office is investigating the cause of death of a man who collapsed in a Border Patrol holding cell on Christmas Eve after he was taken into custody for allegedly
Death of man in Border Patrol custody investigated

CAMPO (CNS) - Authorities were investigating what caused a man to die in a holding cell at the Campo Border Patrol station after being detained Christmas Eve, agency officials said Saturday.

Border Patrol agents at the Interstate 8 checkpoint arrested the man 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.

Officials with the Border Patrol did not disclose the man's name, but his sister identified him to 10News as Steven Keith, 58, who had been visiting Ocean Beach.

He 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 he died shortly after midnight Wednesday, he said.

The county Medical Examiner's Officer was investigating his 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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