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After SWAT standoff, gang member found dead of apparent suicide

SAN DIEGO -- After a five-hour standoff with a SWAT team, a drug suspect identified as linked to a Mexican prison gang was found dead Monday in a La Mesa motel of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot, officials said.

U.S. marshals had attempted to arrest the 40-year-old man being sought on a federal drug warrant. After shooting at the marshals, he refused to leave his room at a Rodeway Inn.

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After negotiations proved futile, authorities used a flash grenade. A woman in the room, possibly the suspect's girlfriend, came out.

When authorities rushed the room, the suspect, identified as Robert DeLeon Jr., was found dead of a gunshot wound to his head, officials said.

The standoff involved La Mesa police, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, and members of the U.S Marshal's fugitive apprehension unit.

tony.perry@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATsandiego

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