NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik joined U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly on Wednesday, April 13, along with other law enforcement officials in announcing a statewide initiative to target and arrest distributors of heroin and opioids that cause overdose deaths.
Since January, the Drug Enforcement Agency's New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad, state and local police, and a team of prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, have investigated 20 heroin and opioid overdoses in Connecticut. Most have resulted in death, including one in Norwalk.
Currently, there are ongoing investigations of overdoses in Danbury, Derby, Enfield, Greenwich, Middletown, Newtown, New Haven, Norwalk, Norwich, Shelton, Stamford, Vernon, Weston, Willimantic and Woodbridge.
“We are combatting a tragic opioid epidemic that is plaguing Connecticut and much of the country,” said Daly. “Deaths caused by heroin or prescription opioids have devastated hundreds of families from every corner of our state. This statewide initiative will enable law enforcement to quickly determine if a highly toxic drug is on the street and take steps to identify the source of the drug in order to keep it out of the hands of vulnerable users. The police protocol will allow investigators to preserve evidence critical to identifying and convicting those responsible for distributing these drugs. Our aim is to prevent additional deaths and to hold accountable those who distribute these deadly drugs.”
Daly noted that the U.S. Attorney’s Office also continues to work with the various law enforcement agencies to target high volume heroin and oxycodone trafficking organizations.
On March 2, a federal grand jury in Hartford returned an indictment charging a Hartford grocery store owner and two associates with trafficking heroin. During the investigation, investigators seized more than 20 kilograms of heroin destined for Connecticut and $900,000 in cash.
In another ongoing investigation, 11 New Haven-area residents were recently charged with conspiring to steal the personal identification information of over 50 doctors and medical professionals in order to create fraudulent prescriptions to obtain and distribute more than 100,000 oxycodone pills.
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