Man Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison in Connection With Teen's Laced Heroin Death

A 25-year-old Glastonbury man has been sentenced to three years in prison for giving laced heroin to his teenage girlfriend, who proceeded to give it to a 14-year-old girl who later died.

Emergency personnel, including East Windsor Police, responded to an East Windsor home on Feb. 15, 2014 to investigate a possible drug overdose and a 14-year-old girl was transported to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, where she died the following day of heroin and fentanyl intoxication.

Police investigated and determined that Ryan Poulin, 24, formerly of Glastonbury, was dating a 16-year-old East Windsor girl and drove her to Hartford to buy heroin, which they used together, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Officials said Poulin and an acquaintance had gone to Hartford on Valentine’s Day in 2014 to meet with a heroin dealer and bought two bundles of 20-dose bags of “New World” heroin for $80, then went to Portland, where Poulin’s acquaintance injected himself with three bags of the “New World” heroin and passed out, officials said.

Poulin immediately left and went to his girlfriend’s house later in the afternoon, where they injected the heroin, went out to dinner for Valentine’s Day and injected more heroin upon getting home, authorities said.

The next thing Poulin remembered from that evening was that someone put him in the shower to revive him, officials said.

The next morning, Poulin gave a bag of the “New World” heroin to his girlfriend, but she thought it was too strong and traded it, giving it to her 14-year-old friend in exchange for a different bag of heroin, authorities said.

On the morning of Feb. 15, 2014, Poulin’s girlfriend and her 14-year-old friend injected heroin. After showering, the 14-year-old girl went to sleep and never woke up.

Poulin was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on July 31, 2014 and he was released into a substance abuse and counseling program, but he has been detained since Sept. 26, 2014, when his bond was revoked for violating the conditions of his release.

He pleaded guilty on Sept. 21, 2015 to one count of distributing a controlled substance to a minor and was sentenced on Tuesday to three years in prison, followed by six years of supervised release for distributing heroin to a minor.

“This is truly tragic story and one that is playing out in our state at an alarming rate,” U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said in a statement. “There were nearly 400 heroin-related overdose deaths in Connecticut in 2015, which is an increase of approximately 50 percent since 2013. This epidemic is deeply disturbing and must be addressed from a number of perspectives. From the law enforcement perspective, together with the DEA and local police departments, we will continue to prioritize investigations of heroin overdoses and prosecutions of traffickers responsible for overdoses.”

A long-term Drug Enforcement Administration Hartford Task Force investigation has focused on distribution of Fentanyl-laced heroin that contributed to several heroin overdoses in the Hartford area, officials said.

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid analgesic used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain that cannot be controlled with other medicines. It is approximately 80 times more potent than morphine, and is potentially lethal, even at very low levels.

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