If you were to interview most of Wisconsin's criminal prosecutors, they would probably tell you that prosecution of drug crimes remains a high priority across the state. From the trafficking of illegal drugs to the fatal overdose of users, drugs are seen as a serious problem by law enforcement authorities and court officials. That's one reason drug charges come with such high penalties.
A man from out of state was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison for his involvement in the heroin overdose death of a man living in central Wisconsin. The defendant pleaded no contest to eight out of 10 charges against him, all of which are connected to his alleged involvement in an elaborate drug trafficking ring. He pleaded not guilty to the other two charges of supplying heroin and first-degree reckless homicide, and will head to trial on those counts.
During the man's sentencing this week, the prosecutor in the case told the judge that the defendant had no intention of changing his behavior. The judge agreed and ordered the man to obtain his GED in prison and undergo drug counseling in hopes that he would abandon the drug trade and turn his life around.
This man isn't the first person to be charged in connection with the man's death. The Kronenwetter man's overdose in August 2011 led to the discovery of the drug ring, which police said involved several more people.
The overdose victim's 22-year-old girlfriend was sentenced in July to eight years in prison for selling the man heroin twice on the day before he died. She could have faced even more prison time along with federal charges if she hadn't entered a plea deal with prosecutors. Three others were also arrested after police set up informants to buy drugs from people who were suspected of selling drugs to the overdose victim.
Drug investigations like these have the potential to net people who are only marginally involved in a crime. Those suspects need to make sure they aggressively defend themselves in court by seeking out an attorney with experience in fighting drug charges, both at the state and federal level.
Source: WSAU.com, "Meeks sentenced to 14 years in prison on some drug charges, heading to trial on homicide case," Dec. 10, 2012
- Our firm handles situations similar to the one described in this post. To learn more about our practice, visit our Milwaukee drug crimes page.