A Stanislaus County Jail inmate died Thursday morning at a Modesto hospital shortly after jailers found the 27-year-old Modesto man unconscious in his cell, sheriff's officials said.
Investigators believe Manuel Dante Dent might have ingested a small bag as he tried to evade police officers shortly before his arrest, said Stanislaus County Undersheriff Bill Heyne.
An autopsy showed that Dent had ingested a bag made out of plastic wrap and believed to be filled with narcotics.
Coroner officials, however, are awaiting toxicology results to determine what was in the bag and what caused Dent's death.
On Wednesday, Modesto police arrested Dent on suspicion of possession of heroin in liquid form, destruction of evidence, resisting arrest and violating probation.
Heyne said the officers thought they saw Dent putting something into his mouth as he was running away from them.
Police took Dent to Doctors Medical Center, where he was medically cleared before he was booked at the county's downtown Modesto jail.
Heyne said Dent was awaiting his arraignment hearing and lying on the bed in his cell at 6:09 a.m. Thursday when the jailers found him unresponsive.
Heyne said sheriff's deputies and jail medical staff started CPR procedures. Dent was then taken by ambulance to DMC, where he was pronounced dead.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2394.