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American man dies in Border Patrol holding cell after being stopped at checkpoint

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A border patrol car looks over the town of Las Chepas, Mexico near the border with New Mexico. (AP)

The San Diego County Medical Examiner's office is investigating the cause of death of a man who collapsed in a Border Patrol holding cell on Christmas Eve after he was taken into custody for allegedly carrying three pounds of marijuana.

The Border Patrol said Saturday that the man, a U.S. citizen, was stopped at a checkpoint on Interstate 8, near the Mexican border.

He was taken to a holding cell after authorities said they found the marijuana, drug paraphernalia and traces of methamphetamine in his car.

Soon afterward he collapsed. Paramedics were unable to revive him.

Border Patrol officials say they are cooperating with the investigation.

The man's sister told U-T San Diego he was in good health. He was identified as 58-year-old Steven Keith.

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