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Press Release

Two Men Charged With Trafficking Prescription Narcotics

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

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JAMES LOUIS COSTANZO, 35, of Ansonia, and BRIAN EARL, 39, of North Haven, were arrested last week on federal charges related to the illegal distribution of prescription narcotics.

According to allegations contained in court documents, in May 2013, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad and the Ansonia Police Department initiated an investigation into COSTANZO, who had been identified as an illegal distributor of narcotic pharmaceuticals.  The investigation, which included multiple controlled purchases of oxycodone and the use of electronic surveillance, revealed that COSTANZO sold prescription narcotics to numerous customers from his Dwight Street residence.  The investigation further revealed that EARL supplied COSTANZO with large quantities of oxycodone and other prescription narcotics, and also sold drugs to his own customers.

On January 23, COSTANZO and EARL were arrested on criminal complaints charging each with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.

At the time of COSTANZO’s arrest, he possessed a 9mm handgun that was loaded with hollow-point ammunition, and $439 in cash.  A subsequent search of his residence revealed approximately 600 oxycodone pills, four firearms, ammunition, approximately $5,500 in cash, and more than 50 stored-value cards.

At the time of EARL’s arrest, he possessed $2,557 in cash, and a search of his North Haven residence revealed approximately 11,000 prescription pills, including Oxycontin, oxycodone and oxymorphone.

The charges of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $1 million.

COSTANZO, who has been detained since his arrest, appeared today in Bridgeport federal court for a detention hearing.  The hearing was continued until February 7.

EARL is released on a $150,000 bond.

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 DEA’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad, with the assistance of the Ansonia Police Department and the Fairfield Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David X. Sullivan and Michael E. Runowicz.


Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722

Updated March 18, 2015