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Press Release

West Haven Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Distributing Xanax

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

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that CLARENCE BELL, also known as “Solo,” 21, of West Haven, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of 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.

According to court documents and statements made in court, 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 was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on September 26, 2016.

Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for August 11, 2017, at which time BELL faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

BELL is released on a $25,000 bond.

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.

Updated May 17, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs