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Six Charged in Four Overdose Death Investigations

APR 22 (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 six men were arrested this week on various federal heroin charges.  The charges stem from an ongoing statewide initiative targeting narcotics dealers who distribute heroin, fentanyl or opioids that cause death or serious injury to users.

According to a criminal complaint charging Jonathan Fisher, 35, of Norwich, on April 9, 2016, Norwich Police responded to a medical emergency at Fisher’s residence.  The emergency involved an 18-year-old male who had died from an apparent heroin overdose.  Fisher was not present at the time law enforcement had arrived.  A search of the victim’s wallet revealed one used glassine baggy and 10 unopened baggies marked with a particular brand stamp.  A field test of the substance in the baggies yielded a positive presence for both heroin and fentanyl.  Approximately one month prior to the overdose death, Fisher was arrested by Norwich Police after he was found in possession of numerous baggies of heroin that were marked with the same stamp.  On April 12, 2016, Norwich Police arrested Fisher at a Norwich hotel.  A search of Fisher’s wallet contained two glassine baggies containing suspected heroin and marked with the same brand stamp.  A search of the hotel room where Fisher had been staying revealed more than 300 bags of heroin, prescription narcotics, more than one pound of marijuana, a digital scale and hundreds of empty glassine bags marked with the same stamp.  Fisher was charged by federal complaint on April 20 and is detained.

According to a criminal complaint charging Jorge Morales, also known as “Capone,” 29, of Shelton, on April 15, 2016, a 21-year-old female was found unresponsive at her Bridgeport residence and was transported to the hospital. The victim has since been removed from life support and died.  Bridgeport Police recovered two baggies of suspected heroin packaged in glassine baggies from the bed next to where the victim was located.  The baggies were marked with a particular brand stamp.  A cellular telephone seized from the victim revealed numerous calls and text messages between the victim and Morales in the days leading up the victim’s overdose.  In addition, on April 15, 2016, law enforcement conducted a controlled purchase of heroin, marked with the same brand stamp, from Morales.  Morales was charged by federal complaint on April 20 and is detained.

According to a criminal complaint charging Timothy Paprocki, 33, of Ledyard and Rudy Hernandez, 43, of New London, on April 12, 2016, Groton Town Police responded to a report of a medical emergency involving a 25-year-old male.  The victim, who had used heroin and/or fentanyl, was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased.  The investigation, which has included witness interviews and the review of cellphone records and text messages, revealed that the victim arranged to purchase heroin from Paprocki.  Paprocki then purchased heroin from Hernandez and distributed it to the victim.  On April 14, 2016, New London Police and other law enforcement conducted a search of Hernandez’s residence and seized heroin, cocaine and multiple cellular telephones.  Paprocki and Hernandez were charged by federal complaint on April 20 and are detained.

According to a criminal complaint charging Daniel Gamero, 23, of Hartford, and Charlie Tacuri, 19, of Hartford, since February 2016, Hartford Police have been investigating the distribution of heroin marked with a particular brand stamp.  During the course of the investigation, there have been at least two overdose deaths to which heroin marked with the stamp has been linked, one in Vernon on February 1 and one in Granby on March 22.  Between February and April 2016, law enforcement conducted four controlled purchases of heroin mark with the same stamp from Gamero and Tacuri.  Gamero and Tacuri were arrested on April 21.  On that date, a search of Gamero’s Preston Street residence revealed hundreds of bags of heroin, marijuana and a firearm.  Gamero and Tacuri are detained.

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, Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (“HIDTA Task Force”) and Hartford Task Force; the Statewide Narcotics Task Force, the Regional Community Enhancement Task Force, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Norwich, Bridgeport, Monroe, Groton Town, New London and Hartford Police Departments.  The Tactical Diversion Squad includes participants from the New Haven, Hamden, Greenwich, Shelton, Bristol, Vernon and Wilton Police Departments.  The HIDTA Task Force includes participants from the Connecticut State Police and the Norwalk, Stamford, Stratford, Milford, Bridgeport and Trumbull Police Departments.  The Hartford Task Force includes participants from the Bristol, East Hartford, Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, Wethersfield and Willimantic Police Departments.


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