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Man arrested for drug possession dies in Cheektowaga police custody

A 28-year-old man arrested for narcotics possession died early Monday in custody of the Cheektowaga police.

Cheektowaga police arrested the man at 9 p.m. Sunday during a routine traffic stop.

Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle, and found chunks of marijuana on the suspect, said James Speyer, assistant police chief.

The man, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was found to be in possession of 39 oxycodone pills hidden in his sock and a bag of marijuana in his pants, said Speyer.

The suspect was taken to police headquarters and charged with narcotics possession, false impersonation and marijuana possession. Three outstanding warrants on the suspect were also discovered.

Speyer described the suspect's demeanor as calm and cooperative during the booking process. The suspect was assigned a cell at 10:30 p.m., Speyer said.

During a routine check at 1 a.m. the suspect was discovered slumped over, unresponsive and bleeding from his nose and mouth, Speyer said.

An autopsy performed Monday morning discovered a quantity of white powder believed to be cocaine, said Speyer.

"This would have never been found," Speyer said. "We don't do strip searches."

Determination as to the cause of death is pending the results of toxicology testing, Speyer said.

The man's name has not been released.

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