A 55-year-old Wisconsin man has been sentenced to prison for a year after being convicted of maintaining a drug trafficking location. Prosecutors alleged that the man's role in maintaining the location contributed to the death of a 28-year-old man. The 55-year-old pled no contest to the felony charge, and the judge proceeded to dismiss other more serious felony allegations that had been filed against the man, including reckless homicide by delivery of drugs to the first degree, as well as drug manufacturing and delivery. The convicted man received a credit of 41 days to be subtracted from his sentence for the time he spent in jail before the trial. However, he will have two years of extended supervision after completing his prison term.
Although the man was sentenced to one year in prison, prosecutors advocated that he be incarcerated for half a year longer, which would make up the maximum term possible for his crime. The prosecution argued that the man was the source of the illegal substances that caused the other man's death. But defense counsel argued that his client wasn't even present for the drug deal, and was possibly sleeping in another room at the time. The defense counsel further said that his client had never even met the young man who died, since it was another person who had purchased and delivered the drugs.
Indeed, the man who will now serve jail time was not the only person embroiled in the drug transaction. Four other individuals are currently awaiting trial for allegations related to the incident. They face felony charges relating to drug manufacturing and drug delivery. Two of them could face maximum sentences of 7 ½ years, while the other two could face maximum sentences of 25 and 37 ½ years.
Clearly the court system in Wisconsin takes drug charges seriously, especially when the drugs manufactured, delivered or sold result in the death of another person. However, every individual facing drug allegations is entitled to his or her day in court, and a lot can be done in an effort to prove a defendant's innocence. Alternatively, it may be possible to make a plea agreement in order to have other more serious charges dropped.
Source: wiscnews.com, "Portage man gets year in prison in drug death," Nov. 29, 2011