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Connecticut Statewide Initiative Targets Distributors of Heroin and Opioids

Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, joined by members of police departments across Connecticut

As part of a new statewide initiative in Connecticut, law enforcement will now treat all overdoses as crime scenes with the goal of getting to the source of the deadly drugs. 

U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said local police and the Drug Enforcement Agency will be working closely from the start of an investigation as part of the protocol.

"It is our top priority to identify the sources of these illegal and lethal drugs to get them off the street and out of the hands of vulnerable users," Daly said.

Deputy Chief State's Attorney Leonard C. Boyle said if they can establish that a dealer knew the heroin was tainted, he or she can be charged with manslaughter.  

During Wednesday's announcement, Daly introduced Bill and Susan Phillips. Their son, 26-year-old Ryan Phillips, died of a heroin overdose two years ago. They urged parents not to ignore their suspicions, and seek education.

Credit Lori Mack / WNPR
Bill and Susan Phillips, parents of 26-year-old Ryan Phillips, who died of an overdose.

"Our son Ryan was a good kid: well-liked, well-respected, a good athlete. And he ended up in the worst of it," said Bill Phillips. "So the only thing I can say to you people is that you’ve gotta get the help you need, and reach out. And if you have to reach out to law enforcement, or some of these other agencies, they can help you, and guide you to the right treatment for these people."

The DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s office have received federal funding for overtime, equipment, and training.

Daly said they’ll also continue to prosecute medical professionals who prescribe narcotics outside the scope of accepted medical practice.

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