Jesse Carrillo of New Hampshire charged in 2013 overdose death of UMass student Eric Sinacori



Last modified: Wednesday, September 30, 2015

AMHERST — Nearly two years after the heroin overdose death of University of Massachusetts Amherst student Eric L. Sinacori, police have arrested the man who allegedly provided him the drugs.

Jesse Carrillo, 27, of Derry, New Hampshire, was indicted Monday on charges of involuntary manslaughter and distributing heroin, according to a statement issued by the Northwestern district attorney’s office. He was later arrested in New Hampshire, the district attorney’s office reported.

Sinacori, a third-year kinesiology major from Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, was found dead Oct. 4, 2013, in his off-campus apartment at Puffton Village. That was 10 months after he became a confidential informant for the University of Massachusetts police. He was 20 years old.

“The indictments allege that Carrillo, who at the time was a graduate student at UMass Amherst, provided Sinacori with the heroin that caused Sinacori to overdose inside his Amherst apartment,” according to the statement by the district attorney’s office.

Francesca Sinacori, Eric Sinacori’s mother, said in a telephone interview Monday she was “thrilled” to hear about the arrest. “It’s been a long time coming,” she said.

Eric Sinacori will have been dead for two years on Sunday, his mother noted. She said she understands that getting a grand jury indictment takes time and is glad it happened.

“This is not going to bring my son back, but it gives me a little closure at this point,” Francesca Sinacori said.

She added that moving forward with a serious charge such as involuntary manslaughter could be a step forward in combating the epidemic of addictive drugs.

“If more drug dealers were indicted for that, there might not be as many out there,” Francesca Sinacori said. “It might make them think twice.”

Mary Carey, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said Carrillo is expect to make an initial appearance in court in Derry before being brought back to Hampshire Superior Court to be arraigned later this week.

Reached by phone Monday, Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan referred questions about the case to First Assistant District Attorney Steven E. Gagne, who did not respond to a request for comment.

In the fall of 2012, Eric Sinacori allegedly was caught selling LSD to an undercover officer and in possession of a hypodermic needle, and UMass police offered him the opportunity to become an informant to avoid criminal charges.

Police did not inform administrators or Sinacori’s parents of his drug addiction or his involvement with the department, and they remained unaware until after he died.

Following September 2014 news reports about Sinacori’s involvement in the UMass Police Department’s confidential informant program, UMass Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy suspended the program, pending a review. In January, he ended the program.

“The personal, social and ethical costs of the confidential informant program clearly outweigh its benefits,” Subbaswamy wrote in a statement accompanying the January decision.

Dave Eisenstadter can be reached at deisen@gazettenet.com.


 


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