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Press Release

Wethersfield Man Charged with Distributing Narcotics to Overdose Victim

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

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Stephen Belleau, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, and Meriden Police Chief Roberto Rosado today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging JIMMY LASSUS, 39, of Wethersfield, with distribution of fentanyl and oxycodone.  The charge stems from an investigation of an overdose death in October 2023.

The indictment was returned on June 25, 2024.  Lassus appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert A. Richardson in Hartford and entered a plea of not guilty.  He has been detained since his arrest on a federal criminal complaint on April 11, 2024.

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, in the early morning of October 6, 2023, Meriden Police responded to a residence on a report of a suspected overdose and found a 27-year-old woman unresponsive in a bedroom.  She was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced deceased.  The investigation revealed that for several months before the victim’s death, the victim engaged in numerous drug-related text message conversations with Lassus.  The text messages revealed that Lassus supplied the victim with oxycodone, and that he supplied her with fentanyl that she ingested in the hours before she died.  The victim stated in text messages and in a journal entry that it was her first time using fentanyl.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the victim’s death to be caused by acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, benzodiazepines, xylazine, and oxycodone.

If convicted of the charge in the indictment, Lassus faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

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

This investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration New Haven Task Force and the Meriden Police Department, with the assistance of the Wethersfield Police Department.  The Task Force includes members from the DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, Connecticut State Police and the New Haven, Waterbury, East Haven, Branford, West Haven, Ansonia, Meriden, Naugatuck, and Shelton Police Departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brendan Keefe and Reed Durham.

Updated July 3, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs