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Man found dead in Barnstable jail had opiates in system

A man found dead in his cell Friday in the Barnstable County jail had opiates in his system, the Cape and Islands district attorney said.

Michael O’Keefe said Wednesday that 31-year-old John Shannon’s death remains under investigation. O’Keefe did not say whether the death was caused by an overdose.

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Shannon was being held at the jail after he pleaded guilty to threatening to commit a crime, resisting arrest, assault and battery, and vandalism, the district attorney’s office said.

“It’s not common that people die in jail,” O’Keefe said by phone. “Unfortunately, drugs do find their way into jails in very inventive ways. It’s a very difficult problem to address.”

A person who delivers or gives a prisoner drugs can be sentenced to up to five years in state prison.

Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera
@globe.com
.
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