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Press Release

Hartford Man Pleads Guilty to Heroin Distribution Charge Stemming from Middletown Overdose Death

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, today announced that, on February 24, 2017, YACOV OCASIO, also known as “Little,” 21, of Hartford, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin.

This prosecution is part of an ongoing 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 August 26, 2016, Middletown Police and emergency medical personnel responded to a Middletown apartment on the report of a possible overdose and found an unresponsive 28-year-old male lying in a bed. Medical intervention was unsuccessful and the victim was pronounced dead. Officers located and seized one torn baggy, commonly used to package heroin, from the victim’s pants pocket. Officers also seized the victim’s iPhone.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Connecticut subsequently determined that the victim died from acute heroin and fentanyl toxicities.

The investigation revealed that, on August 25, 2016, the victim arranged to purchase heroin from OCASIO, and then drove to Hartford to complete the purchase.

In November 2016, investigators conducted a controlled purchase of heroin from OCASIO.

OCASIO was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on January 18, 2017.

Judge Thompson scheduled sentencing for May 24, 2017, at which time OCASIO faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. OCASIO is released on a $50,000 bond.

This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad and the Middletown Police Department. The 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.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Spector and Jocelyn Kaoutzanis, and Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Eugene Calistro, who is cross-designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in this matter.

Updated February 27, 2017

Drug Trafficking