Milford man sentenced for selling heroin that led to man's death

Ryan Russow, 29, of Milford, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to more than five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for distributing heroin connected to the overdose death of a Milford man, according to Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Michael J. Ferguson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England.
“Working closely with the DEA and local police, we are continuing to prioritize investigations of heroin overdoses and the prosecution of dealers who traffic in heroin that results in a user’s death,” said U.S. Attorney Daly in a prepared release.  “We are committed to following all leads to the ultimate source of supply. Heroin traffickers are forewarned that a conviction for distributing heroin that results in a death carries a lengthy federal sentence.”
“Individuals who sell heroin have one motivation and that is to make money,” added DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Ferguson. “They ignore the countless overdoses and deaths that result from the use of heroin as well as the lingering destruction this drug brings to our families and communities. DEA and our law enforcement partners are committed to investigating overdose deaths to identify and bring to justice the source of this poison.”
According to court documents and statements made in court, from November 2013 to April 2014, Russow obtained heroin from a source in New Haven and then distributed the drug out of his residence on Stone Manor Drive to customers. On March 12, 2014, Russow sold a number of bags of heroin, stamped “Much Better,” to R.P., 26, of Milford.  Later that day, R.P. was found deceased at his residence in Milford, officials said.
In R.P.’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%, and the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner concluded that R.P. died of heroin toxicity, officials said.
On March 19, 2014, 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.
Russow has been detained since his arrest on April 23, 2014.  On December 4, 2014, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin.