The Fitchburg man who investigators said supplied the heroin that killed a Lodi teenager in 2012 was ordered to serve seven years in prison.
Milton Moore, 23, pleaded no contest Thursday in Columbia County Circuit Court to a charge of first-degree reckless homicide by delivery of drugs.
Lodi police said Jacob Adler, 17, was found gasping for air when EMS responded at 8:21 a.m. July 12, 2012, to a patio in the 300 block of North Hill Street. Adler could not be revived; an autopsy showed his death was caused by heroin toxicity, according to a criminal complaint.
Judge Alan White, at the hearing Thursday, ordered Moore to serve a prison sentence of seven years followed by seven years of extended supervision.
While those who take heroin are also responsible, White said, it is important, that those who supply heroin to people addicted to it are held accountable, especially when someone dies from an overdose.
“The people who are doing the selling are, to me, the most culpable,” White said to Moore at the hearing. “They are making money off their misery.”
Heroin use is a “countrywide epidemic,” he said.
“It’s killing young people all over the country,” White said.
Moore apologized at the hearing to Adler’s family, and to the people of Columbia County.
Adler’s mother, Shelly Johnson, spoke at the hearing, saying that she hopes her son’s story might save other lives.
Adler, she said, was handsome, intelligent and “a goofball at times,” who looked forward to turning 18 — an age he never saw.
Moore should remember, Johnson said, that because he sold heroin, a life was lost as well as his freedom.
The heroin epidemic, she said, is a “constant hurricane going through our community,” yet people act as if it is a light breeze.
Johnson told Moore she hopes he is able to do something else with his life.
“I want you to help others not suffer,” Johnson told Moore.
Co-defendant Lars Atkinson, 20, of Lodi, was sentenced in October to 5 ½ years of prison and 5 ½ years of extended supervision; he pleaded no contest in July to a felony charge of first-degree reckless homicide by delivery of drugs.
Atkinson told police he and Adler purchased the heroin in Madison, giving Moore $75 for half a gram, according to a criminal complaint.
White said Moore must serve the sentence beginning in 2015, after he completes a prison sentence in a 2008 Dane County conviction of felony robbery with use of force as party to a crime. Moore was initially sentenced in the case to three years of probation, but his probation term was revoked in 2010 and he was ordered to serve three years of prison followed by four years of extended supervision. Moore was released in 2011, and his supervision was revoked in January 2013 and he was sentenced to a prison term.