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A US Citizen Died While Being Detained By Border Patrol Agents Over A "Smuggling Incident"

Officials said the 32-year-old man "began exhibiting signs of distress" while being processed.

Last updated on February 5, 2020, at 7:29 p.m. ET

Posted on February 5, 2020, at 1:41 p.m. ET

Chris Carlson / AP

A guard walks with a detainee at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in California.

A 32-year-old US citizen who was arrested by Border Patrol agents has died in government custody, according to a statement from US Customs and Border Protection to congressional officials on Wednesday.

Border officials said the man, identified as James Paul Markowitz, had been picked up in an β€œillegal smuggling incident.”

β€œOn Tuesday, February 4, at approximately 3:30 p.m. CST, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Brackettville, Texas, Station arrested a 32-year-old male U.S. citizen after he was identified as a suspect in an alien smuggling incident,” CBP said in the statement, which was obtained by BuzzFeed News.

β€œAt around 6:00 p.m., during processing at the Brackettville Station, the man began exhibiting signs of distress. EMT-certified agents immediately administered first aid and contacted local Emergency Medical Services as his health deteriorated,” CBP added. β€œAt around 6:40 p.m., EMS arrived and transported the subject by ambulance to a local hospital. He was pronounced deceased by medical personnel at 9:37 p.m. CST.”

CBP officials did not immediately respond for comment.