Hartford man gets supervised release in fentanyl sale linked to overdose death in Montville

New London police stand by as a small group of demonstrators gather on the corner of Williams Street and Mohegan Avenue outside the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Vice President Mike Pence delivered the keynote address to the academy's Class of 2018.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
New London police stand by as a small group of demonstrators gather on the corner of Williams Street and Mohegan Avenue outside the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Vice President Mike Pence delivered the keynote address to the academy's Class of 2018. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

A Hartford man will serve five years of supervised release for distributing fentanyl linked to the 2016 overdose deaths of people in four towns, including Montville.

A federal judge sentenced Melvin Correa, 51, to five months in prison, time already served, and five years of supervised release for selling fentanyl that was distributed in dose bags marked with a specific brand stamp. Police connected overdose deaths in East Hartford, Manchester, Montville and Southington to Correa after they learned he was selling fentanyl in bags with the same brand stamp in Hartford.

The FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force and the Hartford Police Department investigated the case.

Correa told an undercover officer in November 2016 that the fentanyl marked with the brand stamp was “good stuff” and “real strong,” and that someone had died two days earlier by overdosing on it. The undercover officer bought 200 bags of the drug, which Correa told him was heroin, for $600, then later bought another 300 bags for $900. The bags, which were decorated with the same brand stamp as bags recovered from the scenes of the overdose deaths, were later found to only contain fentanyl.

Undercover officers continued to purchase the drugs from Correa and an associate, Jovii Valentin, and arrested both men on Dec. 22, 2016. Correa was released on bond in March 2017 and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, fentanyl. Valentin pleaded guilty to the same charge on Nov. 8, 2017. He has been detained since his arrest and is awaiting sentencing.

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