July 03, 2012 | 11:39 AMELKHORN — A woman involved in heroin sales in Walworth County was sentenced June 27 to four years in a state prison.
Bethany A. Adler, 22, of Jefferson, pleaded guilty April 13 to four heroin-related charges. During her sentencing, Judge John Race also sentenced her to four years of extended supervision.
On Dec. 22, the Walworth County Sheriff's Department Drug Unit arrested Adler and Alan D. Messier during a traffic stop on Highway 14, Walworth Township. After the stop, police located more than 9.72 grams of heroin, which was divided into 31 bags.
"A large quantity of heroin was delivered by these people," Race said. "Obviously, Miss Adler wasn't the primary actor, Mr. Messier was."
On April 26, Messier was sentenced to 12 years in prison and six years of extended supervision for his role in the deliveries.
"The public needs protection from not only Mrs. Adler, but Mr. Messier and other drug dealers," Race said.
Adler's defense attorney, Christopher Kuehn, argued for a lengthy probation sentence. Kuehn said Adler needed treatment for her drug addiction, not prison.
However, Assistant District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld said Adler's actions were too serious and warranted prison.
"Her actions are too serious to place her on probation and send her on her way," Wiedenfeld said. "Heroin is a growing problem here and she is contributing to it."
Race handed down the exact sentence that Wiedenfeld requested. Adler was facing up to 32-1/2 years of confinement and 20 years of extended supervision.
"I have to note that this is a heroin case, which makes it grave. This isn't a simple ditch-weed case," Race said. "People are dying from heroin in the county, young people."
Before the Dec. 22, 2011 traffic stop, either Adler or Messier sold heroin seven separate times to a confidential informant.
"Between Nov. 8 and Dec. 22, 2011, she was involved in seven heroin deliveries and $1,200 was made just on those deliveries," Wiedenfeld said.
When Adler was arrested, she told law enforcement she didn't use heroin, Wiedenfeld said.
"For personal or financial motivations she was deeply involved," he said. "This is someone who is doing it for profit."
However, Kuehn argued that Adler is a drug addict, who was in denial about her addiction when she initially talked to police. After her arrest, she sought treatment for her addiction and was accepted into Mt. Zion's treatment center, Kuehn said.
"I don't think either of these two were living high off the hog," Kuehn said.
Prior to becoming involved with Messier, who Adler has a child with, Adler was a hard worker, Kuehn said. She worked as a CNA at an adult behavioral facility.
"All that ended when she starts hanging out with Mr. Messier," Kuehn said.
When given a chance to speak, Adler apologized to her son and family.
"I hope to get the help I need to be a productive member of society," she said.
Kuehn argued that Adler should receive a seven-year probation sentence, which includes a condition that she completes the treatment program at Mt. Zion.
"If she fails it she is facing 32-1/2 years initial confinement and she realizes that, that is a huge sword hanging over her head.
Race did find Adler eligible for the prison's earned-release program, which means she could be released sooner than her four-year sentence.