Man from Mexico dies in federal custody at US border

January 15, 2022 GMT

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A 38-year-old man from Mexico died in federal custody in San Diego on Wednesday after he was detained on an accusation of crossing the border illegally. Authorities are investigating his death.

The man, whose name has not been released, reportedly went into medical distress in the cargo area of the Otay Mesa Port of Entry after he was taken into custody by a border patrol agent, according to the San Diego Police Department.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in a statement on Friday night, said the man was among a group of nine people who allegedly crossed the border illegally around 1:45 p.m. Wednesday west of the port of entry. A remote camera operator saw the group and radioed border patrol agents.

The border patrol agent, whose name also has not been made public, detained the man “without incident or force” after he climbed the fences, the police department said in a news release. The border patrol agent has worked for U.S. Customs and Border Protection for 18 years.


The man went into unspecified “medical distress” in the port’s cargo area, the police department said. Customs and Border Protection said the man “became ill and eventually unresponsive.” Officials tried to resuscitate him using a defibrillator and CPR before he was pronounced dead around 3:30 p.m.

“It is undetermined at this point what caused the male to go into medical distress,” the police statement said.

The police department is investigating the man’s death, as is protocol in such incidents, and its case will be reviewed by federal prosecutors.