Nearly one week after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Connecticut police raided one of the northeast’s largest carfentanil pressing labs, David Reichard, 29, was charged for possessing heroin and possession with intent to distribute heroin.
He appeared before federal Magistrate Holly Fitzimmons and consented to detention without prejudice. According to Lindy Urso, the man’s attorney, Reichard had a drug problem and knew he needed help but had nothing to do with the fact oxycodone lab found at his home. He had an unrelated heroin addiction. Reichard’s housemate, the lawyer said, was the real criminal in this case.
Reichard was caught pulling into his property as the Stamford police Narcotics and Organized Crime squad were preparing to raid his property. According to the Stamford police, a confidential informant told the police that Reichard and Reichard’s roommate had Ziploc bags filled with “three to four ounces of carfentanil” in their garage. The informant spoke with William McMahon, a Stamford police officer and DEA task force member. According to McMahon’s affidavit, the informant also had pill presses and scales inside the house.
Stamford police, after learning that a West Hill Circle home contained enough carfentanil to kill “half of Stamford,” suited up and prepared to raid the house in April. Reichard, before the police had entered the property, pulled into the house’s driveway where officers arrested him. They found four folds of heroin in his vehicle. Reichard told the police they would find carfentanil stored inside a case in the garage and that they would find three pill presses in a room towards the front of the house.
The police entered the house, spotted the pill presses, and exited quickly. As if they had not known the house served as a pill production facility, the Stamford police called the DEA’s Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team. Stamford police had no desire to touch carfentanil. “This is an extremely dangerous substance, whether in pill or powder form,” Stamford Police Captain Richard Conklin said. “This lab was a danger to the community and we are happy that our Drug Enforcement Administration partners have gotten rid of the lab and the investigation is ongoing and we are proceeding.”
The DEA found 1,500 fake oxycodone pills in the house, jars of unknown powder, bags of unknown powder, “crush proof cases” of unknown powder, a hazmat suit, a breather, USPS packages, three pill presses, and dozens of items associated with drug distribution and pill production.
Reichard told police that he had only moved into the house in February. The man’s attorney said that Reichard had only stayed at the house on occasion and that the house’s owner had been pressing the pills since before Reichard had moved in. The man gave the police a testimony that sounded similar to the statement from the unidentified informant. He said that his housemate purchased the carfentanil on the internet, pressed fake oxycodone pills, and then shipped those to buyers on the darknet.
Reichard, of course, was completely innocent of any serious crimes, his lawyer repeatedly conveyed in court. The only issue her client faced was heroin addiction. She said that he would gladly work with the police to price his innocence in exchange for an opportunity to enter a detox facility. The case files were sealed after Reichard’s arrest.