Drug Enforcement Administration

New England

Brian D. Boyle , Special Agent in Charge

November 22, 2019

Contact: SA Timothy Desmond

Phone Number: (617) 557-2100

Waterbury man sentenced to 79 months for distributing heroin

HARTFORD, Conn. – DEA New England Division Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle and John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Terrance Saunders, 33, of Waterbury, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 79 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for distributing heroin.

This matter stems from a statewide initiative targeting narcotics dealers who distribute heroin, fentanyl or opioids that cause death or serious injury to users.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on March 23, 2016, the Shelton Police Department and emergency medical personnel responded to a suspected overdose at a Shelton residence. At the residence, medical personnel pronounced a 45-year-old female victim deceased.  Investigators collected drug and non-drug evidence, including folds containing suspected heroin, and the victim’s cell phone.

Analysis of the victim’s cell phone revealed numerous contacts, including multiple text messages on March 22, 2016, between the victim and Saunders’ cell phone in which the victim arranged to acquire drugs.  Investigators subsequently conducted controlled purchases of heroin and fentanyl from Saunders and his associate, Rashad Johnson, by contacting Saunders’ phone.

Saunders was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on Dec. 27, 2018. On June 24, 2019, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin.

Saunders, who was released on a $100,000 bond prior to sentencing, was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service to begin serving his sentence.

Johnson, of Waterbury, pleaded guilty on June 19, 2019.  On Oct.15, he was sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment and two years of supervised release.

This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force and the Shelton, Ansonia and Monroe Police Departments. 

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