60-year-old woman sentenced to 6 years for selling crack in case related to Hamden explosion

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WEST HAVEN–A woman who lived in the same house as a group of people investigated for selling drugs and murdering a roommate has been sentenced.

Deborah Miller, 60, of West Haven, was sentenced to six years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for selling crack cocaine.

Though Miller and four other people she lived with had been under investigation, without their knowledge, for selling narcotics, the investigation blew up when one of the roommates was killed.

On July 4, 2015, police responded to reports of an explosion in Hamden, and found a dead man wrapped in a plastic garbage bag and bound by rope. He was found in the woods near the location of the explosion, and an explosive device and debris were found nearby. However, Edward Brooks, 39, had sustained three gunshot wounds before the explosion.

Police went to Brooks’ home, which he shared with four others, to investigate his death, at which time they learned the residents of that address were being investigated for selling narcotics.

Besides finding 16 grams of crack cocaine and 10.6 grams of methamphetamine, as well as narcotics packaging, detectives found pipe bomb making materials consistent with the explosive that went off in Hamden.

During the ensuing investigation, it was determined that Miller and her roommates, which included her son, his girlfriend, and two others, had sold at least 1.6 kilograms of crack cocaine between September 2014 and July 2015.

Miller was arrested July 13, 2015 and on April 25, 2016 she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

According to officials, Miller’s son, Christopher Miller, 40, shot Brooks and then drove his body to Hamden, at which point he set off the explosives to try and blow up the body. He faces 10 charges including murder, possession of an explosive, and narcotics-related charges.

Maurice Waring, ¬†26, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, among other charges; Christopher Miller’s girlfriend, Natali Martinez-Sanchez, 29, was charged with tampering with evidence and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; and James Bryant, 64, was charged with tampering with evidence.