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Two Charged with Distributing Heroin Involved in Overdose Deaths

FEB 26 (NEW HAVEN, Conn.) – Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that investigations into recent drug overdose deaths have resulted in federal heroin distribution charges against two men.  In unrelated cases, Bradley Commerford, 20, of Derby, and Reginald Miles, Jr., also known as “Rocky,” 25, of Waterbury, are each charged with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin.

“We are combatting a tragic opioid epidemic that is plaguing not only Connecticut but much of the country,” said U.S. Attorney Daly.  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is working closely with DEA and our state and local partners to actively investigate multiple overdose deaths.  Our primary goal is to identify the source and makeup of the drugs involved.  This is a very serious public health issue.  We will continue to prioritize the prosecution of individuals who traffic narcotics that pose significant public safety concerns.”

“Anytime there is a loss of life involving a drug overdose it is a tragic event; but even more so, when the victims are young adults,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Ferguson.  “Those suffering from the disease of heroin addiction need access to treatment and recovery.  But, those responsible for distributing these lethal drugs to the citizens of Connecticut need to be held responsible for their actions.  DEA and its federal, state, and local partners are committed to bringing to justice those that distribute this poison.”

According the criminal complaint charging Commerford, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad is investigating two heroin overdoses that occurred in Shelton on February 16, 2016 and one that occurred in Derby on February 17, 2016.  The Derby overdose resulted in the death of a 23-year-old male.  The investigation, which includes victim and witness interviews, as well as analysis of numerous text messages of the decedent’s phone, identified Commerford as the heroin source of supply in all three overdose cases.  The State of Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner has not yet issued a toxicology report on the decedent.  Commerford has been detained in state custody since February 18, 2016.  According to the criminal complaint charging Miles, on November 19, 2015, a 22-year-old male died from an apparent heroin overdose at a residence in Woodbridge.  The investigation revealed that shortly before the victim’s overdose, the victim and two other individuals purchased heroin from Miles in Waterbury.  According to the State of Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner, the victim’s death was determined to be acute intoxication due to the combined effects of heroin and Alprazolam (a generic form of Xanax).  Miles has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on January 22, 2016.  He has a bond hearing scheduled for March 1.

The charge of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.  U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

These investigations are being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad, with the assistance of the Derby, Shelton, Monroe, Middlebury and Woodbridge Police Departments.  The Tactical Diversion Squad includes participants from the New Haven, Hamden, Greenwich, Shelton, Bristol, Vernon and Wilton Police Departments. 


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