Heroin Dealer Fails Drug Court Program, Sentenced To 40 Years In Prison

By McCarton Ackerman 02/06/14

New York native Stefano DeMicheli repeatedly failed drug tests and missed counseling sessions until finally getting caught up in a federal drug probe.

Stefano DeMicheli Photo via

A 26-year-old heroin dealer who failed to comply with the terms of his drug court treatment program could possibly spend the rest of his life in prison.

New York native Stefano DeMicheli was sentenced last week by Putnam County Judge James Reitz to 40 years in prison, or 10 years on each of four felony convictions, and could still receive further charges and jail time. The initial charges came after he was arrested in December 2011 with 35 bags of heroin and 19 bags of crack cocaine.

DeMicheli faced 12 years in prison on each of the charges of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, but Reitz sent him to Putnam Drug Court in lieu of jail time on the condition that he successfully complete the program. But DeMicheli was kicked out of drug court after repeatedly failing tests and missing counseling sessions. The final straw was his arrest last March as part of a federal drug probe.

“We took you at your word. We gave you many opportunities. We worked with you,” said Reitz at the sentencing. “I thank God that you didn’t kill anybody along the way, or seriously injure them.” Putnam District Attorney Adam Levy praised the sentence and said, “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."

DeMicheli still has federal drug charges pending after his arrest last year and any additional time he gets would be added on top of his current sentence. If he is released from prison, he will also be on parole for his first three years out.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.