Charges against Norwalk man dropped in Stamford triple-fatal overdose because of bad evidence

Xavier Flores

Contributed Photo / Stamford Police Department

STAMFORD — On Tuesday, state prosecutors dropped multiple manslaughter charges against a Norwalk man who was accused of selling fentanyl-laced cocaine to three people who later overdosed and died.

Xavier Flores, 39, will no longer face three counts of first-degree manslaughter after state prosecutors discovered “multiple deficiencies” with their case, Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Nemec said on Tuesday.

The case centered around a triple fatal overdose in Stamford on July 16, 2020. On that day, Stamford police responded to reports of three unresponsive occupants in a blue Toyota Rav4 parked near St. Benedict Circle and Dale Street in the city. Firefighters and medics, who also responded to the scene, used multiple doses of Narcan to try and revive the occupants.


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Ultimately, two of the occupants were pronounced dead at the scene. The third was rushed to Stamford Hospital where he later died.

In April 2022, Flores was arrested in connection to the deaths and charged with three counts of first-degree manslaughter, failure to comply with fingerprinting and eight counts of sale of narcotics and conspiracy to commit sale of narcotics.

In the wake of the overdoses, police used the three victims’ cellphones to try and pinpoint who had sold them the laced drugs.

Nemec said this was where the investigation encountered its first problem. While police were able to access two of the phones, one of which showed one of the victims allegedly attempting to coordinate a suspected drug deal with Flores about four days earlier, the third phone was unable to be accessed.


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Another issue, Nemec said, was that when police executed eight separate controlled purchases of cocaine of Flores over the next few months, he allegedly sold officers only powder cocaine. Nemec said this wasn’t consistent with the drugs found with the three overdose victims, who had possessed cocaine rocks instead.

Lastly, toxicology analyses done on the three victims also showed that they each had different drugs in their systems, which further weakened the case, Nemec said.

“You take all that together and there’s no way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs Xavier Flores presumably sold were the drugs that killed the three people,” Nemec said.

Jared Millbrandt, Flores’s attorney, credited public defender investigator Joe McClure with initially uncovering the weaknesses in the state’s case against his client.


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“Mr. Flores has maintained his innocence in this matter from the beginning and is pleased that the manslaughter charges are now dismissed. We appreciate the State’s consideration of the legitimate issues we raised in connection with the continued prosecution of this case,” Millbrandt said.

Nemec said when the flaws in the case were brought to his office’s attention, they worked with the Stamford police to try and gather more evidence but their efforts didn’t yield any results, he said.

Family members of the three overdose victims could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

While the state nolled the manslaughter charges against Flores on Tuesday, he still faces eight counts of sale of narcotics and conspiracy to commit sale of narcotics.


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He is next expected to appear in court on Feb. 8.

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