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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Hartford Man Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison for Distributing Drugs to 2 Overdose Victims

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that RUBEN MORALES, 45, of Hartford, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 46 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for distributing drugs involved in two overdose deaths in December 2016.

This matter stems from 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 December 24, 2016, Hartford police officers and emergency medical personnel responding to reports of unresponsive individuals discovered two male overdose victims in different locations on Zion Street in Hartford.  A 33-year-old victim was pronounced deceased shortly after he was discovered in the rear parking lot of an apartment complex on Zion Street.  At the scene, officers seized various items of drug-related paraphernalia.  Officers found a 25-year-old victim on the rear porch of an apartment on Zion Street.  The victim was transported to the hospital and later pronounced deceased.

The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner subsequently determined that the 33-year-old victim’s death was caused by a combination of cocaine, heroin and fentanyl, and the 25-year-old victim’s death was caused by a combination of cocaine, ethanol and fentanyl.

The investigation revealed that MORALES supplied fentanyl-laced heroin that both victims consumed shortly before they died.

In January and February 2017, members of the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crime Gang Task Force conducted seven controlled purchases of heroin from MORALES.  Subsequent lab analysis confirmed the presence of fentanyl in six of the seven controlled purchases.

MORALES was arrested on a federal complaint on February 16, 2017.  On January 29, 2018, he pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of heroin and fentanyl.

Judge Bryant ordered MORALES, who is released on a $100,000 bond, to report to prison on June 6.

The FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crime Gang Task Force includes members from the FBI, Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Natasha Freismuth.

Drug Trafficking
Updated May 3, 2018