Police investigating the death of a 17-year-old girl who apparently overdosed on opiates have arrested a 40-year-old Uncasville man who is accused of forcing the teen into prostitution, according to police.
Police found the teen suffering from what appeared to be a drug overdose when they responded to a hotel room in the town of Groton just after 2:30 a.m. on Sunday and emergency crews brought her to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
While investigating, police said they found a connection between Ramon B. Gomez, 40, of Uncasville, and the victim and arrested him on Wednesday.
Gomez has been charged him with first-degree prostitution promotion, which a class B felony, and bond was set at $150,000.
Police, as well as federal officials, have been cracking down on the opiate and heroin epidemic in Connecticut and a new statewide plan has been put in place, which includes a protocol for police responding to heroin and opioid overdose deaths, time-sensitive investigative techniques and preserving all evidence at the scene of an overdose death.
Police are also asked to contact the DEA early in the investigation and to ensure that an autopsy is performed. The DEA and local police will then work together to investigate what led up to the death, the source of the drug involved and the composition of the drug.
According to statistics from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, there were 729 accidental drug deaths in the state in 2015 and heroin was detected in 416 of them.
The latest figures available on drug deaths are those that occurred between January and March of this year. There have been 208 accidental drug deaths, with heroin detected in 110 of them.