LAS CRUCES (AP) — Officials say the death of a Dona Ana County Detention Center inmate was related to cocaine use.

New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator said Thursday that 57-year-old Hermilo Salcedo choked to death Aug. 5 after trying to swallow a bag of cocaine.

Salcedo died three days after being arrested on drug trafficking charges. Early on the morning of Aug. 3, Salcedo underwent a full-body search during booking when an officer found a plastic bag of cocaine.

Salcedo reportedly tried to swallow the bag, choked and lost consciousness. The autopsy report said he then went into cardiac arrest. Emergency medical personnel removed the lodged plastic bag after about 20 minutes.

The report says Salcedo was resuscitated, but "there were (no) signs of brain activity."



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