CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- A Montrose man was recently sentenced to 40 years in jail for dealing heroin.
The 40-year sentence was handed down to 26-year-old Stefano DeMicheli by a Putnam County judge earlier this month and is the latest tale about a drug that has gripped the region, with two deaths in Cortlandt , and five people being arrested by the county last week .
Stefano's mother, Virginia, declined comment.
DeMicheli was sentenced after he failed drug tests and missed counseling sessions while in a drug treatment program, according to Putnam County DA Adam Levy.
DeMicheli was arrested in Dec. 2011 when police found him with 35 bags of heroin and 19 bags of crack cocaine and later pled guilty to four counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree with the promise of going into a drug treatment program.
Each count carries a maximum 12 year sentence.
"He knew he faced up to 12 years for each count if he failed the program," Levy said.
While in the drug program, DeMicheli was arrested by the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force following an investigation by Westchester County police. During that arrest, federal agents found a loaded gun, and a large amount of heroin and cash.
Levy praised the judge for his sentence, hoping it would send a message about the seriousness of the drug treatment program.
“Judicial diversion has helped many people who battle the disease of addiction get clean and become productive members of society. However, when someone continues to deal drugs while in the program, placing in danger those in the program who are committed to sobriety, they must be removed from the program and taken off the streets,” Levy said.
When sentencing DeMicheli, Judge James Reitz said it was one of the worst sentences he had to impose.
We gave you many opportunities. We worked with you,” Judge Reitz said at the sentencing. “I thank God that you didn’t kill anybody along the way or seriously injure them. What we have here is a serious disregard and responsibility for one’s actions. Now there are consequences. I have to tell you it’s going to be tough."