A man from Salem, Massachusetts died in a New Jersey jail last week after being taken into he was arrested for allegedly bringing illegal prescription drugs into the stateinto the state.
The 24-year-old man was arrested Thursday in Tenafly after the car in which he was a passenger was pulled over on suspicion of being involved at a shoplifting at a T-Mobile store. Police questioned the man and then searched his hotel room, where they found more than 600 pills, including painkillers, and other drug paraphernalia. The man could not turn over to police a prescription for any of the pills.
The man was taken to a hospital Thursday afternoon after he appeared ill, but seemed to recover and was booked on drug and shoplifting charges. He was transferred to the Bergen County Jail around midnight. Early Friday morning, he was taken to Hackensack University Medical Center, where he suffered a cardiac arrest and later died. His exact cause of death will be determined at a later date by the medical examiner. The man was supposed to appear in Salem District Court this week on charges related to a 2006 Massachusetts drug case.
The man's story illustrates the growing problem of a new kind of drugs being moved quickly and easily across state borders. Pills, such as the pain reliever Oxycontin and its generic equivalents, are easy to hide and transport and can be powerfully addictive. Law enforcement agencies across the country have been altering their drug prevention and control efforts to fight the trend, though many have said doing so is difficult.
Source: Salem News, "Salem man dies in a New Jersey jail," Tom Dalton, 8 June 2011.
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