Indictment Charges 5 West Haven Residents after Investigation into July 4th Blast and Homicide
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that a grand jury in Bridgeport returned an indictment yesterday charging five West Haven residents with federal offenses stemming from an investigation of an explosion and homicide that occurred in Hamden on July 4, 2015.
According to allegations contained in court documents, at approximately 11:00 a.m. on July 4, 2015, an explosion took place on Wintergreen Avenue in Hamden. Responding law enforcement located a deceased white male, who had been wrapped in plastic garbage bag material and bound by rope material, in a wooded area close to where the explosion had occurred. An explosive-type device and debris were also located in close proximity to the body. The victim, who had also sustained three apparent gunshot wounds, was subsequently identified as Edward Brooks, 39, of West Haven. After West Haven Police informed investigators that Brooks had been residing with CHRISTOPHER MILLER at 59 Front Avenue in West Haven, and that MILLER and other residents of 59 Front Avenue were subjects of an ongoing narcotics investigation, investigators executed a state narcotics search and seizure warrant at 59 Front Avenue and seized numerous items, including pipe bomb making materials that were consistent with the materials found at the Wintergreen Avenue explosion scene, approximately 16 grams of cocaine base (“crack cocaine), approximately 10.6 grams of methamphetamine and narcotics packaging material. Investigators also seized a surveillance DVR, which captured video surveillance from eight cameras placed around the residence.
The indictment charges CHRISTOPHER MILLER, 40, DEBORAH MILLER, 59, NATALI MARTINEZ, 29, JAMES BRYANT, 64, and MAURICE WEARING, 26, with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack cocaine”). The indictment also charges CHRISTOPHER MILLER with possession of an explosive by a convicted felon.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine base carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and the charge of possession of an explosive by a convicted felon carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
The five defendants are currently detained and face related state charges.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Connecticut State Police and West Haven Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Reynolds, Jacabed Rodriguez-Coss and Vanessa Richards. This investigation and prosecution is being coordinated with the State’s Attorney’s Office for the Judicial District of Ansonia-Milford.