A methamphetamine bust today in Hemet was followed by the death of one suspect, who apparently consumed a large quantity of the illicit drug before being arrested, authorities said.
The 42-year-old Los Angeles man, whose name not released, died after being taken to a southwest Riverside County hospital, according to Hemet police.
The parolee was one of five suspects taken into custody around 9 a.m. at a Motel 6 at 3885 W. Florida Ave., after officers discovered $35,000 worth of methamphetamine and a loaded submachine gun in a guest room, according to Lt. Mark Richards.
The room was being rented by a Hemet woman, 24-year-old Ofelia Alicia Cantu, who was among those arrested, Richards said.
According to Richards, officers became interested in what might be in Cantu's room after a vehicle check in the motel parking lot pointed to suspicious activity.
After learning one occupant was on parole, a search of the room was conducted, leading to the discovery of the weapon and drugs, according to Richards.
Cantu, the parolee and three others were arrested and taken to the Hemet jail.
It was learned that the parolee ingested a large amount of methamphetamine just prior to being detained by officers at the motel, Richards said.
As a precaution the parolee was transported to a local hospital. Approximately an hour (later), the parolee was pronounced dead in the emergency room.
The cause of death remained under investigation.
Cantu was booked on suspicion of drug possession and having an outstanding felony warrant, according to Richards.
Cantu is being held in lieu of $125,000 bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.
Investigators were still determining whether to seek charges against the other suspects, Richards said.
JUNE 16, 2010
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