New London man pleads guilty in connection with two overdose deaths

A New London man who provided the heroin with fentanyl that led to the overdose deaths of two women in May 2016 pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

Nestor Santana, 30, also known as "Beans," pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum sentence of 40 years.

He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson on Dec. 13 in Hartford.

Santana provided to other dealers/distributors the drugs that led to the deaths of Olivia Roark, 17, of Griswold, and an unidentified 34-year-old woman in Montville, according to the government.

In the Roark case, members of the Groton Town Police Department and emergency services personnel responded to the Flagship Inn & Suites in the early morning hours of May 29, 2016, for a suspected drug overdose. Roark was administered two doses of Narcan, an opioid overdose-reversing drug, which were deemed unsuccessful, before she was transported to the hospital and died later that morning.

Authorities said Ramon Gomez of New London, also known as B.I., knew Roark was under 18 and brought her to the motel to engage in prostitution. On the morning of May 28, he sold a quantity of heroin to Adele Bouthillier, who then distributed the heroin to the victim. Santana had supplied Gomez with the heroin/fentanyl that caused the death of the victim.

On May 31, members of the Montville Police Department responded to an apartment on Route 32 for an "untimely death" investigation. Upon arrival, officers found a deceased 34-year-old female lying face-down on the bathroom floor. The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner subsequently determined the cause of the 34-year-old female's death to be "acute ethanol and fentanyl intoxication."

The investigation revealed that the victim was supplied with heroin/fentanyl by James Butler. Butler had been supplied with the drugs by Gomez, who in turn was supplied by Santana.

In August and September 2016, investigators made controlled purchases of heroin from Santana.

He was arrested on state charges on Sept. 29, 2016. A search of his residence at the time of his arrest revealed an additional quantity of heroin and items used to process and package narcotics. He has been detained since his arrest on the federal criminal complaint on Jan. 31, 2017.

Gomez and Bouthillier have pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor and heroin distribution offenses, and Butler has pleaded guilty to a heroin distribution offense. Each awaits sentencing.

This investigation is being conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Connecticut State Police, the Groton, Montville, and New London police departments, Statewide Narcotics Task Force – East, and the Regional Community Enhancement Task Force. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.

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

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