The central jail on Front Street in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

Authorities said Thursday that the death of a San Diego Central Jail inmate last fall could be attributed to drug-related heart failure.

Deputies staffing the Front Street detention center found Lazaro Alvarez, 40, unresponsive in his cell shortly after 4 a.m. Nov. 22.

Jail personnel performed CPR on Alvarez until they fire department paramedics relieved them, sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Seiver said. An ambulance crew took Alvarez to a trauma center, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Alvarez died of cardiac arrest brought on by acute myocardial infarction, and fentanyl and methamphetamine toxicity.

Alvarez, a suspect in a trespassing case, had been booked into the downtown jail the day prior to his death, Seiver said.

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