Autopsy shows inmate died from cocaine, fentanyl toxicity

The death of an inmate in custody at the Brownsville City Jail was caused by “acute combined cocaine and fentanyl toxicity,” the Brownsville Police Department reported in a news release.

Edgar Hernandez, 28, was found unresponsive at about 2:30 a.m. Nov. 29, said Investigator Martin Sandoval, spokesman for the Brownsville Police Department.

Sandoval on Tuesday said Hernandez was able to conceal the narcotic to avoid it being found in the search of his person. Hernandez was located unresponsive during a routine cell check.

The case was submitted to the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office for review and “it was founded that this case is a non-criminal matter,” Sandoval said.

A custodial death report on Hernandez said EMS personnel found a piece of white toilet paper on Hernandez containing a small clear plastic bag with a white powdery substance inside of it.

Texas law requires law enforcement agencies to file custodial death reports with the Texas Attorney General’s Office if an inmate dies in their custody.

A detention officer performing routine checks spotted Hernandez and saw that he was not moving.

“When he called him, he was not responding,” Sandoval said.

The detention officer went inside the cell and noticing Hernandez was unconscious began to perform CPR and an ambulance was called.

According to the custodial death report, two Brownsville police officers also assisted in performing CPR on Hernandez until EMS arrived.

Hernandez was pronounced dead at about 3 a.m., and an autopsy was ordered.

Hernandez was taken into custody at about 9:30 a.m. Nov. 28 on a public intoxication charge, and no force was used to effect the arrest, Sandoval said.

There were no signs of trauma or suicide.

Hernandez had been in jail all day Nov. 28, and Sandoval said routine checks are conducted throughout the day on the inmates in the cells.