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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 26, 2016

West Haven Man Charged with Illegally Distributing Xanax

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, announced that CLARENCE BELL, also known as “Solo,” 20, of West Haven, was arrested today on a criminal complaint charging him with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, Xanax, a Schedule IV controlled substance.

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.

As alleged in the complaint, at approximately 6:10 a.m. on May 24, 2016, the West Haven Police Department and emergency medical personnel responded to a residence in West Haven on report of a sudden death of a 20-year-old male.  Upon arrival, the initial responding patrol units determined that the death was suspicious in nature and appeared to be drug related.  The investigation, which includes witness interviews and analysis of phone records and surveillance cameras, has revealed that at approximately 10:00 p.m. on May 23, 2016, the victim purchased a quantity of Xanax pills from BELL.  The victim them crushed approximately three of pills and snorted the powder.

The victim’s autopsy report states the official cause of death as acute intoxication due to the combined effects of heroin, alprazolam (Xanax) and cocaine.

BELL appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis in New Haven and was ordered detained.

The charge of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, controlled substances, carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force, the DEA’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad and the West Haven Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Updated September 26, 2016