Former UMass student charged in connection with 2013 overdose death

By Colby Sears

(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)
(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

Former University of Massachusetts student Jesse Carrillo was arrested Monday afternoon in connection with the death of fellow student Eric Sinacori, who died in Oct. 2013 of a heroin overdose.

Carrillo, 27, of Derry, New Hampshire, was indicted on one charge of distributing heroin and one charge of involuntary manslaughter, according to a statement from Mary Carey, communications director for the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.

Carrillo, who was a UMass graduate student at the time of Sinacori’s death, allegedly provided him with the heroin that caused him to overdose inside his off-campus Amherst apartment during his junior year.

Sinacori became a confidential informant for the UMass Police Department after he was caught selling LSD and Molly to an undercover police officer. By participating in the program, UMPD allowed him to keep the offense secret from his parents, who would have otherwise been notified. He was found dead nearly a year later.

The informant program generated controversy about whether UMass did enough to help Sinacori, who had clearly been struggling with addiction, and other members of the program.

The University ended the program in January after it was suspended in Sept. 2014 by Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy due to a report published in The Boston Globe. The decision to end the program came after an 11-member group completed a review of the policy

Northwestern District Attorney officials did not classify Carrillo as an informant, though they did say he worked as a witness with police against a drug dealer, according to Western Mass News.

The Hampshire Grand Jury returned the indictments on Monday for the Oct. 4, 2013 overdose. According to Carey, Carrillo is expected to appear in a Derry, New Hampshire, court before being brought back to Massachusetts for an arraignment in the Hampshire Superior Court later this week.

Colby Sears can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @colbysears.