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Press Release

Bridgeport Man Charged with Distributing Heroin to Seymour Overdose Victim

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Michael J. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, announced that RICHARD ESTABA, also known as “Raw,” 23, of Bridgeport, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with heroin distribution offenses.  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.

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, on July 9, 2017, Seymour Police and emergency medical personnel responded to a residence in Seymour on a report of a suspected drug overdose.  In the bathroom of the residence, responders encountered a 29-year-old male who was not breathing and did not have a pulse.  The male was pronounced deceased.  Investigators seized the victim’s cellphone, multiple folds of suspected heroin marked with two different brand stamps, and other drugs.  Subsequent cell phone analysis and witness interviews determined that ESTABA supplied the heroin consumed by the victim shortly before he was found dead.

It is further alleged that, in August 2017, investigators conducted a controlled purchase of 10 wax folds of heroin from ESTABA.  The folds were marked with a brand stamps that was found on some of the wax folds at the victim’s residence.

The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has determined that the victim’s death was caused by acute intoxication due to the combined effects of cocaine, etizolam, fentanyl, flubromazolam and heroin.

When he was arrested this morning, it is alleged that ESTABA possessed approximately 400 folds of heroin and $1,300 in cash.

ESTABA appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport and was released on a $100,000 bond.

The complaint charges ESTABA with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin, and conspiracy to distribute heroin.  Both offenses carry 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 a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad and the Seymour and Shelton Police Departments.  The Tactical Diversion Squad includes participants from the New Haven, Hamden, Greenwich, Shelton, Bristol, Vernon, Wilton, Milford, Monroe and Fairfield Police Departments, and the Connecticut State Police.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.

Updated September 20, 2017

Drug Trafficking