Marlborough man faces drug distribution charges following Milford overdoses


Marlborough man faces drug distribution charges following Milford overdoses
Milford District Court. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

By Laura Hayes and Maureen Sullivan

MARLBOROUGH – A Marlborough resident faces several drug-related charges after he was arrested at his home by Milford Police on Friday, Jan 27.

Joel Santiago-Galve, 44, who was also known as “Primo,” has been charged with distribution of a class B substance, possession to distribute cocaine, possession to distribute a class A substance, conspiracy to violate drug law, possession of a class A substance and possession of a class B substance. 

According to the statement of facts filed in Milford District Court, Milford police began investigating four overdoses the week of Jan. 26 – one of which was fatal and two of whom were in the Intensive Care Unit at the Milford Regional Medical Center.

One of the victims told police that he purchased a bag of cocaine for $100 from a man he knew as “Primo,” according to court documents.

The victim told police that his discharge paperwork indicated that the cocaine also contained fentanyl and benzodiazepine. 

“This mixture of drugs caused this male subject and his associates to overdose and become hospitalized,” police wrote.

According to court documents, police gave the victim $100 to make a purchase of cocaine. Police wrote that the victim was kept under surveillance, and they saw him meet with “Primo.” After they met, the victim gave police the drugs, which officers wrote were paged in a manner known to Milford detectives to be consistent in color and texture as cocaine/fentanyl. 

Officers reportedly pulled him over on Prospect Street, and “Primo” was later identified as Santiago-Galve. 

Between the controlled buy and traffic stop, police found two bags containing a hard white substance that investigators believed to be cocaine/fentanyl in Santiago-Galve’s sock along with $675. According to officers, each bag weighed about 1.5 grams.

Santiago-Galve was transported to the Milford Police Department. During his interview, Santiago-Galve allegedly admitted to receiving, possessing and distributing cocaine in Milford and surrounding towns.

At about this time, detectives responded to a report of a man not breathing at a residence on Grove Street, according to court documents. Two others had also consumed the cocaine, and all three were transported to a hospital for an overdose. Santiago-Galve allegedly told police that he had distributed cocaine to a man who lived on Grove Street. 

A man at the hospital reportedly confirmed to police that Santiago-Galve was the one to have distributed the cocaine/fentanyl. 

Santiago-Galve was arraigned on Jan. 30 in Milford District Court. His bail was set at $500,000 surety or $50,000 cash.