RACINE — A prosecutor and judge on Monday called a West Allis man the “poster child” for the damage wrought by drugs — especially heroin — on a man, his family and community.
The judge sentenced Christopher J. Rademacher on Monday to two years in prison plus another two years on extended supervision for stealing $8,900 in cash from his uncle’s Town of Norway home. He stole the cash, according to his criminal complaint, to buy heroin.
“This was a drug-driven crime. The defendant was hooked on drugs. Heroin, in particular,” Racine County Assistant District Attorney Noah Wishau said. “This is basically a poster child of drug addiction.”
According to Norway police reports, Rademacher admitted to stealing “a bunch of $100 bills” from his uncle’s safe, which was in the man’s bedroom with the key in the lock.
Rademacher admitted stealing the money between Aug. 15 and Aug. 31, 2012. He told an officer he spent the $8,900 — within two weeks — on heroin, the police report stated.
“This case is the perfect example of the devastation drugs can cause on an individual. He’s almost a poster child,” Circuit Judge Tim Boyle said in sentencing him on Monday. But, “the addictive nature of heroin does not mean you can’t beat this.”
Boyle agreed that Rademacher could serve that time concurrent with the prison stint handed down in a similar case in Waukesha County. In that case, Rademacher will be in prison until Jan. 2, 2016, and then go on extended supervision for approximately five years, said Assistant State Public Defender Nhu Tran said.
“He’s a very bright young man. Unfortunately he has dealt with a heroin addiction for a very long time now,” she said. “There was a period of time where it had gotten out of control.”
Wishau called for prison time, asking that Boyle follow a Wisconsin Department of Corrections agent’s recommendations for two years in prison plus two to three years on extended supervision.
“He actually turned himself in after he stole from family members. He went to the Waukesha police station with his father and confessed,” Tran countered. “His uncle is a very forgiving man. He’s more concerned about his well-being ... than trying to get that money back.”
Rademacher pleaded no contest on Oct. 1 to one count of burglarizing a building, which is a felony.
Boyle also ordered Rademacher to repay his uncle $8,900 and not to associate with any drug dealers and users.
“I just want to apologize and say I’m sorry to my family, especially my uncle,” Rademacher, 24, said during his sentencing. “I realize this is my second chance at life and it’s time for me to grow up.”