Michael Thomas Rascoe, an inmate at the Durham County Jail, hanged himself in his cell Tuesday afternoon.
Sheriff's Lt. W.R. Narron said detention officers making routine rounds found Rascoe about 4:30 p.m. He had used clothing to hang himself from a ventilation fixture.
The detention officers took him down and administered CPR until emergency personnel arrived, but Rascoe could not be revived, Narron said.
Rascoe, 56, lived at 122 Creek Trail in Hertford. He was arrested by Durham police Sunday and incarcerated on $2.5 million bail on several narcotics charges, including trafficking in opiates.
His body was sent to the state medical examiner's office in Chapel Hill, Narron said.