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2 women charged with selling heroin that killed man

On Nov. 16, a 20-year-old man from Wisconsin died after allegedly overdosing on heroin. In the aftermath, the Middleton man's 21-year-old ex-girlfriend from Mount Horeb and a 43-year-old woman from Madison were indicted on drug trafficking charges.

Reports said that the man's ex-girlfriend helped him purchase the drug from the older woman, and she was charged with dual counts of delivery of heroin as a result. The 43-year-old faces multiple charges, including possession of Adderall, felony bail jumping, delivering heroin and maintaining a drug trafficking residence. She pleaded guilty to two counts of heroin delivery in August. The assistant district attorney said that prosecutors may also charge her with reckless homicide.

The man's girlfriend was reportedly recovering from heroin withdrawal when he asked her to purchase the drug, which they subsequently used in a public park before going to sleep in his apartment. When she called the police to the residence later, they discovered he had overdosed, and the woman agreed to participate in a sting by purchasing more heroin from the dealer. At the time of reporting, it was unknown how she would plead in court or whether the assistance she gave law enforcement officials would result in a reduced sentence.

Police and prosecutors commonly file multiple drug charges for a single incident. The accused persons may have a harder time defending themselves in court because authorities may mislead them into thinking that they're going to be convicted. Although some may enter plea bargains in an effort to escape jail time, these arrangements could still mar their criminal records and prohibit them from gaining employment in the future. The accused persons still have options, and a criminal defense attorney could help them to make sense of their choices in order to protect their rights.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal, "Heroin delivery charged in Middleton overdose death", Ed Treleven, November 27, 2013

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