U.S. DOJ releases information on inmate death at USP Hazelton

Monongalia and Preston

BRUCETON MILLS, W.Va. — The U.S. Department of Justice has given information into the death of an inmate at the United States Penitentiary Hazelton in Bruceton Mills on Thursday.

According to a statement sent by the DOJ, Jose Mejia-Rangel, 43, who was an inmate at the facility was found unresponsive at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Thursday. Staff at the penitentiary attempted life-saving measures on Mejia-Rangel and requested EMS assistance, according to the release.

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EMS workers and USP Hazelton staff were unable to resuscitate Mejia-Rangel, and he was pronounced dead on scene by EMS personnel, the release states, and the death is not related to COVID-19.

Mejia-Rangel was an inmate who had been originally sentenced from Florida to a 42-month sentence after “a deplorable action and aggravated identity theft,” according to the statement, and has been an inmate in USP Hazelton since Jan. 7.

The FBI has been notified of the incident, and the release states that “[n]o staff or other inmates were injured and at no time was the public in danger.”

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