Cuban detainee, 33, dies in ICE custody

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By Daniella Silva  with NBC News
Image: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Headquarters
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Headquarters   -   Copyright  Google Maps

A Cuban national died in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at a clinic in Florida, the agency said Wednesday, becoming the second detainee to die in custody in as many months.

Yulio Castro-Garrido, 33, died Tuesday night at a Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida,ICE said in a statementWednesday evening.

Earlier this month, Castro had been diagnosed with pneumonia by ICE medical personnel at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, according to the statement. He was transported to Southwest Regional Medical Center in Cuthbert, Georgia, on Jan. 7 after the diagnosis, according to the statement.

"After diagnosis, Mr. Castro initially resisted medical treatment which caused his condition to worsen," ICE said. "On Jan. 9, IHSC [ ICE Health Service Corps] staff coordinated the transfer of Castro to the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga. where he was placed on a ventilator to stabilize him."

That hospital transported Castro to the Mayo Clinic for additional treatment on Jan. 17, according to the statement.

Image: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Headquarters
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Headquarters Google Maps

"Mr. Castro slipped into a coma Jan. 22 and never regained consciousness," the statement said.

"ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive review of this incident, as it does in all such cases," the agency added.

Castro was placed in ICE custody on Nov. 24 after being transferred from the D. Ray James Federal Correctional Institute in Folkston, Georgia, the agency said. He had been convicted on Dec. 8, 2016, of "conspiracy to transport and move an undocumented alien within the United States by means of transportation," according to the statement.

Related: Death of Panamanian detainee in solitary ruled suicide

Castro was sentenced to a year and a day of confinement and three years of supervised probation.

ICE said Castro was the second detainee to die in their custody so far in fiscal year 2018, which began on Oct. 1, 2017. The agency also said that "Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a fraction of the rate of the U.S. detained population as a whole."

Image: Immigration detainees arrested by ICE
An immigration detainee stands near an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) grievance box in the high security unit at the Theo Lacy Facility, a county jail which also houses immigration detainees arrested by ICE in Orange, California on March 14, 2017. Robyn Beck

The first detainee to die in ICE custodythis fiscal year was Kamyar Samimi, a 64-year-old Iranian man who died on Dec. 2 at the University of Colorado Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, according to an ICE statement at the time.

The preliminary cause of death was cardiac arrest, according to the statement. He had entered ICE custody on Nov. 17 at the Aurora Contract Detention Facility.

Twelve immigrants died in ICE custody in fiscal year 2017, according to the agency — thehighest since fiscal year 2009, when there were 14 deaths.