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Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Heroin Charge In Fatal Overdose In Bridgeport

gavel Photo Credit: Contributed

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A West Haven man is facing up to 20 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to a federal heroin charge related to the fatal overdose of a Bridgeport man over two years ago, prosecutors said.

John Rodriguez, 37, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty Tuesday in Bridgeport federal court to one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin

Shortly after midnight Nov. 7, 2015, police and emergency medical personnel responded to a residence in Bridgeport after a 29-year-old man was found unresponsive by his roommate. The victim was transported by ambulance to the hospital where, after several attempts to revive him, he was pronounced dead, according to court documents and statements made in court.

The investigation, which included witness interviews and analysis of text messages, found that Rodriguez had supplied heroin to the victim the day before he died.

A toxicology report found fentanyl, marijuana and several anti-depressant drugs in the victim’s system, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for Connecticut concluded that the victim died from acute fentanyl intoxication.

Rodriguez was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on Sept. 22, 2016.

He will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford on March 5, at which time he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

At the conclusion of the Tuesday court proceeding, U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel ordered Rodriguez, who had been released on bond, to be remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

This case stems from an ongoing statewide initiative targeting narcotics dealers who distribute heroin, fentanyl or opioids that cause death or serious injury to users.

It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad and the West Haven Bridgeport Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Spector.

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