Report by Paula Antolini
December 29, 2016 7:33PM EDT
Breaking News: Overdose Investigations Lead to Heroin and Cocaine Distribution Charges Against Bethel Man
Thursday, December 29, 2016 – 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, today announced that PAUL MIGNANI, 51, of Bethel, was arrested last night on cocaine and heroin distribution offenses. The charges stem from an ongoing statewide initiative targeting narcotics dealers who distribute heroin, fentanyl or opioids that cause death or serious injury to users.
MIGNANI is charged by criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin and cocaine. The charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. He appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven and was ordered detained.
According the complaint, on July 31, 2016, Bethel Police responded to a residence in Bethel on report of a possible heroin overdose and found an unresponsive 54-year-old female. The victim was pronounced deceased shortly thereafter. It is alleged that MIGNANI distributed heroin that was consumed by the victim shortly before her death. In addition, on December 11, 2016, members of the Bethel Police and medical personnel responded to the report of an unresponsive 25-year old female at MIGNANI’s residence. It is alleged that MIGNANI distributed the controlled substances that were consumed by this victim shortly before her death.
On December 12, 2016, law enforcement conducted a court-authorized search of MIGNANI’s residence and seized approximately three ounces of cocaine. MIGNANI was arrested on related state charges on that date.
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 Tactical Diversion Squad, and the Bethel Police Department, with assistance from the States Attorney’s Office for the Judicial District of Danbury. The DEA Task Force includes participants from the New Haven, Hamden, Greenwich, Shelton, Bristol, Vernon, Wilton, Milford, Monroe, Fairfield and Manchester Police Departments, and the Connecticut State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Spector.