Investigation into July 4th Blast and Homicide Leads to Federal Charges Against 3 West Haven Residents
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 three West Haven residents have been charged with federal offenses as a result of 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.
CHRISTOPHER MILLER, 40, has been charged by federal criminal complaint with possession of an explosive that had been shipped or transported in or affecting interstate commerce. This offense carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. MILLER is currently in state custody and faces additional state charges.
A separate criminal complaint charges two other residents of 59 Front Avenue, DEBORAH MILLER, 59, and NATALI MARTINEZ, 29, with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and methamphetamine. This offense carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. DEBORAH MILLER, who is CHRISTOPHER MILLER’s mother, and MARTINEZ were arrested earlier today.
“This case highlights that great work can be accomplished quickly when local, state and federal law enforcement work together,” stated U.S. Attorney Daly. “I want to thank all of our investigative partners in this matter including the FBI, Connecticut State Police, West Haven Police, Hamden Police and our colleagues at the State’s Attorney’s Office for the Judicial District of Ansonia-Milford.”
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and 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 ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Connecticut State Police, Hamden Police Department 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.