Man, 64, dies while in ICE custody in Colorado

Man picked up for 12-year-old conviction

DENVER – A 64-year-old man in custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement died Saturday at an Aurora hospital, the agency said Monday.

Kamyar Samimi, 64, originally of Iran, was arrested by ICE agents in Denver on Nov. 17—more than 12 years after he was convicted of cocaine possession in Arapahoe County.

According to ICE, Samimi first entered the U.S. in New York in April 1976 as a student, and became a permanent resident in May 1979. But in January 1987, ICE says, his application for full citizenship was denied because he didn’t submit the correct documents.

Samimi was off the radar of law enforcement after that until the 2005 arrest for possession of cocaine. He received a two-year deferred sentence and 64 hours of community service upon his conviction.

But ICE says that since he was convicted of a felony, he was eligible for removal from the U.S.

Agents arrested him at his home Nov. 17, and Samimi was served a notice to appear before an immigration judge.

Samimi had been in custody at the Aurora Contract Detention Facility since his arrest until he “fell ill,” according to ICE, on Saturday morning.

Emergency responders came to the jail, started performing CPR, and transported Samimi to the University of Colorado Medical Center on Saturday. Staffers there pronounced Samimi dead just after noon Saturday.

ICE said his preliminary cause of death was cardiac arrest.

ICE says Samimi is the first detainee to die in ICE custody in the fiscal year that started Oct. 1. The agency said Homeland Security’s inspector general and ICE’s professional responsibility office had been notified of Samimi’s death, along with local law enforcement.

It said his death notification would be sent to the Iranian Interest Section of the Pakistan Embassy in Washington D.C. and to his next of kin.

ICE says all detainees receive medical, dental and mental health screenings within 12 hours of arrival at a detention facility and a full health assessment within 14 days, meaning Samimi would have received a full assessment prior to his death.

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