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Published: Monday, 9/19/2011

Defendant in drug-conspiracy case found dead in Lucas County jail cell


A defendant in a drug-conspiracy investigation involving the trafficking of heroin from Mexico and California into Toledo was found dead Sunday in a cell at the Lucas County jail, authorities said.

Corrections officers doing routine checks discovered Dolores Ramirez, 31, unresponsive in her cell about 7 a.m., said Dr. Diane Barnett, deputy county coroner.

The woman, who also is known as Lola, was arrested May 11 as part of a multidefendant roundup for a sealed indictment filed six days earlier in U.S. District Court in Toledo.

She was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and unlawful use of a communications facility.

She had pleaded not guilty.

Federal agents arrested Ms. Ramirez and 19 others named in the indictment. The defendants are accused of bringing more than 20 kilograms of heroin, with an estimated $11 million street value, into Toledo since 2001.

Dr. Barnett said the inmate, who was segregated from the jail population, was last seen alive by jail officers about 2 a.m. Sunday.

She said foul play is not suspected.

An autopsy is scheduled to be performed Monday.

According to documents in federal court, Ms. Ramirez was released in May after posting a $10,000 unsecured bond and was arrested in early August on bond violations.

She had been in the jail since at least Aug. 9.

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