Groton man pleads guilty to selling heroin and cocaine to overdose victim

A Groton man pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of distribution of heroin and cocaine in connection with the death of a Groton man in April 2017, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

Ulpiano Lugo, 37, of Groton waived his right to be indicted and entered the plea before Senior U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford, said John H. Durham, U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut.

On April 22, 2017, Groton City police and emergency medical personnel responded to a residence and found an unresponsive 37-year-old man in the bedroom, according to court documents and statements made in court. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators found a used syringe containing an unknown liquid, a bent metal spoon with an off-white residue, a plastic bag with powder residue and the victim’s cellphone, the release said.

They later determined the powder residue contained heroin and cocaine, and text messages from the victim’s cellphone confirmed that the victim had ordered narcotics from Lugo in the days before death, the release said.

Lugo’s plea stemmed from a statewide initiative targeting narcotics dealers who distribute heroin, fentanyl or opioids that cause death or serious injury to users.

Covello scheduled sentencing for Aug. 1. Lugo is detained pending sentencing. The charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force and the Groton City Police Department are investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jocelyn Courtney Kaoutzanis is prosecuting the case.


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