Man pleads guilty to charge in Shelton woman’s OD death

A 27-year-old Waterbury man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge in connection with the fatal overdose of a Shelton woman.

Rashad Johnson waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court to one count of possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin.

John H. Durham, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, said the case stems from an ongoing statewide initiative targeting narcotics dealers who distribute heroin, fentanyl or opioids that cause death or serious injury to users.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on March 23, 2016, the Shelton Police Department and emergency medical personnel responded to a suspected overdose at a Shelton residence. At the residence, medical personnel pronounced a 45-year-old female deceased.

Investigators collected drug and non-drug evidence, including folds containing suspected heroin, and the woman’s cellphone.

Analysis of the cellphone revealed numerous contacts, including multiple text messages on March 22, 2016, between the woman and a cellphone number connected to Johnson in which the woman arranged to acquire drugs. Investigators subsequently conducted controlled purchases of heroin and fentanyl from Johnson.

Johnson was arrested on federal criminal complaint on Jan. 11, 2019.

He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on Oct. 9, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. He is free on a $50,000 bond pending sentencing.