Another condemned California inmate found dead in cell at San Quentin

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SAN QUENTIN — California corrections officials are investigating how drugs made it into death row at San Quentin state prison after two inmates died in their cells this week.

A statement from the agency Wednesday doesn’t explicitly link the deaths of Joseph Perez and Herminio Serna to drug use, saying officials are awaiting the results of an autopsy.

The statement says health care staff is increasing outreach and education to inmates about the dangers of drugs.

Serna was found unresponsive in his one-man cell on Monday and Perez on Tuesday.

Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton declined to say what drugs were brought into the prison.

Perez was sentenced to death for the 1998 killing of 46-year-old Janet Daher, who was strangled and stabbed during a robbery of her home in Lafayette. Serna was one of three men sentenced to death for slayings during the Nuestra Familia gang’s alleged efforts to take over the drug trade in San Jose.

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