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Bethel Man Pleads Guilty to Heroin and Cocaine Distribution Charge Stemming From Two Overdose Deaths

MAR 28 (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 Paul Mignani, 51, of Bethel, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer in New Haven to one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin and cocaine.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on July 31, 2016, Bethel Police responded to a residence in Bethel on report of a possible heroin overdose and found an unresponsive 54-year-old female.  The victim was pronounced deceased shortly thereafter.  The investigation revealed that Mignani distributed heroin, fentanyl and cocaine that were consumed by the victim shortly before her death.

On December 11, 2016, members of the Bethel Police and medical personnel responded to a report of an unresponsive 25-year old female at Mignani’s residence.  The victim was pronounced deceased.  Investigators seized three empty heroin folds from the victim’s purse, and six empty heroin folds from the victim’s jacket pocket.  On December 12, 2016, investigators conducted a court-authorized search of Magnani’s residence and seized three plastic bags of cocaine, each of which contained approximately one gram of the drug.  Investigators also seized $1,531 in cash and multiple cellphones from the residence.  Magnani was arrested on state charges on that date.  The investigation revealed that Mignani distributed heroin and cocaine to the victim shortly before her death.  Mignani has been detained since his arrest on a federal criminal complaint on December 28, 2016.  Judge Meyer scheduled sentencing for June 20, 2017, at which time Mignani faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

This matter has been investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad, and the Bethel Police Department, with assistance from the States Attorney’s Office for the Judicial District of Danbury.  The DEA Tactical Diversion Squad includes participants from the New Haven, Hamden, Greenwich, Shelton, Bristol, Vernon, Wilton, Milford, Monroe, Fairfield and Manchester Police Departments, and the Connecticut State Police. 


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