Death of man in Border Patrol custody investigated

SAN DIEGO - 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 carrying three pounds of marijuana.

The Border Patrol said Saturday that the man, a U.S. citizen, was stopped at a checkpoint on Interstate 8, near the Mexican border.

He was taken to a holding cell after authorities said they found the marijuana, drug paraphernalia and traces of methamphetamine in his car.

Later that evening, the man became incoherent and unresponsive, according to a Border Patrol statement. Paramedics were unable to revive him.

Border Patrol officials say they are cooperating with the investigation and that the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Investigator General is also investigating the incident.

Officials did not immediately release the man's name, but the man's sister, Janet Keith, identified him to Team 10 as Steven Keith. She said he was visiting Ocean Beach for Christmas.

Read Team 10's earlier story here:

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