NEW BRITAIN - A Bristol man has pleaded no contest in the drug overdose of a Plymouth woman who died in May 2018.
Matthew Fazzino, 33, of 55 Cold Springs Road, Bristol, took a plea deal Wednesday in New Britain Superior Court. He pleaded guilty to one count of criminal possession of a firearm and no contest to one count of first-degree manslaughter and three counts of sale of a narcotic substance.
Fazzino, who is being held on $1.2 million bond, is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 22.
According to the warrant for his arrest, Fazzino had been text messaging the overdose victim, a 30-year-old Terryville woman, in the days leading up to her death. Police believe he sold her heroin.
Additionally, police received information during the investigation indicating Fazzino had told another one of his alleged drug buyers to be careful, because there was likely fentanyl in the heroin he had been selling, court documents said. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that has been linked to a nationwide increase in overdose deaths in recent years.
Court papers said the overdose victim was in her home on May 2, 2018, at about 10:04 a.m., talking to a friend when the call abruptly ended, the friend told police. The woman said the victim didn’t “sound right” on the phone, and that she could barely understand what she was saying.
After mumbling several inaudible remarks, the 30-year-old suddenly stopped talking, and it sounded like her phone fell to the floor, the friend told investigators. She contacted the victim’s mother, who then went to her daughter’s home.
The friend later received a text message from the mother, saying the victim wasn’t answering her phone or her door. The friend and the victim’s boyfriend then went to the home, where the boyfriend unlocked the door, according to the warrant. They found the woman slumped over a chair, and called 911. The boyfriend tried performing CPR, but the victim was later pronounced dead.
Investigators said they found wax baggies, a needle and her phone near the overdose victim when she died, according to the warrant. An autopsy later showed she died from acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, heroin, Mitragynine - an opioid receptor - and Clonazepam - a tranquilizer.
Fazzino was arrested after authorities searched his home on Aug. 24, 2018. During his arrest, he was also charged in connection with a month-long narcotics investigation into the allegations that Fazzino had been selling drugs from his home.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.