SHELTON, Conn. -- A Derby man was charged on Friday with distributing heroin that was involved in two overdoses in Shelton, according to U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly.
Bradley Commerford, 20, is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad for two deaths in Shelton on Feb. 16 and another in Derby on Feb. 17. The Derby overdose resulted in the death of a 23-year-old male, Daly said.
Authorities interviewed victims and witnesses and also analyzed text messages from the phone of the deceased man to identify Commerford, she said.
A toxicology report on the deceased is still pending, she said.
“We are combatting a tragic opioid epidemic that is plaguing not only Connecticut but much of the country,” Daly said in a statement. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is working closely with DEA and our state and local partners to actively investigate multiple overdose deaths. Our primary goal is to identify the source and makeup of the drugs involved."
Commerford was charged with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison. He has been detained in state custody since Feb. 18.
The investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad, with the assistance of the Derby and Shelton police departments.
The Tactical Diversion Squad includes participants from the New Haven, Hamden, Greenwich, Shelton, Bristol, Vernon and Wilton Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Spector.
Reginald Miles Jr., also known as “Rocky,” 25, of Waterbury, was also arrested on charges of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin, Daly said. His arrest came in connection with the death of a 22-year-old male died from an apparent heroin overdose at a residence in Woodbridge, she said.
The investigation revealed that shortly before the victim’s overdose, the victim and two other individuals purchased heroin from Miles in Waterbury, Daly said.
According to the State of Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner, the victim’s death was determined to be acute intoxication due to the combined effects of heroin and Alprazolam, a generic form of Xanax.
Miles has been detained in federal custody since his arrest Jan. 22.