Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced Tuesday that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging Ryan Russow, 29, of Milford, with heroin distribution offenses.
According to statements made in court, on March 12, a 26-year-old man died at a residence in Milford. In the decedent’s room, law enforcement officers located two empty bags of heroin stamped “Much Better,” and two full bags bearing the same stamp.
Drug Enforcement Administration analysis confirmed that the full bags contained heroin with a purity level of approximately 76 percent, and the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has concluded that the decedent died of heroin toxicity.
It is alleged that on the morning of March 12, Russow and the decedent exchanged a series of text messages in which the decedent sought to purchase heroin from Russow.
Video surveillance confirms that the decedent then arrived at Russow’s residence and departed after approximately 15 minutes, officials said in a press release.
On March 19, the DEA executed a search warrant at Russow’s residence and seized more than $19,000 in cash, a digital scale and drug packaging materials.
On April 23, the grand jury returned an indictment charging Russow with one count of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, heroin, and one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin. Russow was arrested the next day.
Russow has been detained since his arrest. He appeared Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis in New Haven and was ordered detained pending trial.
If convicted, Russow faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment 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 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force and the Milford Police Department. The Task Force is composed of members of the Milford, Stamford, Norwalk and Stratford Police Departments and the Connecticut State Police. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah P. Karwan.