A man arrested for having more than 1,500 small bags of heroin died while in police custody in Ocean City, police said.
The incident happened after police arrested Jerry L. Weston, 37, of Greenwood, Del., along with two other people, just after midnight Sunday. A K-9 unit from the Worcester County Sheriff's Office detected the presence of a controlled dangerous substance and during a search of the vehicle, officers located more than 1,500 small bags of heroin and additional narcotics. Officers then arrested the three people in the vehicle without incident.
At approximately, 2:30 a.m., Weston began to complain of trouble breathing.
Booking personnel contacted Ocean City Emergency Medical Services, who responded shortly afterwards. Upon arrival of Ocean City EMS, Weston began to seize and later went into cardiac arrest. Ocean City EMS began conducting lifesaving measures and transported him to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, where he was later pronounced dead.
The Ocean City Police Department requested the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigate the death of Weston. A State Police Homicide Unit investigator attended the autopsy Monday in Baltimore.
State police said Monday the preliminary information from the autopsy indicated there was no sign of any external trauma that would have caused Weston's death. Pathologists did find pieces of latex and a substance believed to be cocaine in Weston’s digestive tract, which was consistent with his statement to police and medical personnel while he was in distress that he had ingested cocaine.
Doctors at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner have ordered additional tests, including toxicology screenings, as part of this autopsy. Those results are pending and could take up to a month or more to obtain, state police said.