Admitted heroin dealer gets probation
An admitted heroin dealer faces up to 18 years in prison if he fails the probation he was given on Tuesday.
Christopher Patrick McLaughlin, 30, said he is a different man than the one who sold heroin within 1,000 feet of a bus stop on April 4, 2018.
“You will serve every bit of it if you screw this up,” District Judge Tod Young said in sentencing McLaughlin to three consecutive six-year prison sentences.
Defense attorney John Malone argued that the last two years during which McLaughlin has remained sober will be an indication of how he does on probation.
“He is well aware that he might not be walking free out of the courtroom today,” Malone said. “He has done enough over the last two years to offer a preview of his behavior in the future.”
Malone told Young that he had no objection to the judge imposing the maximum to encourage McLaughlin to succeed on probation.
Prosecutor Chelsea Mazza argued for prison, pointing out that McLaughlin has previous convictions for heroin sales.
“He had an opportunity at drug court and he turned it down,” she said. “He knew darn well that what he was doing was not OK.”
McLaughlin said he has become a father since the 2018 arrest.
“I’m a completely different man that the one I was two years ago,” he said. “I have a family and a purpose now. I think I’m more valuable out of prison than in.”
McLaughlin admitted to charges of sales of a controlled substance and sales of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a bus stop, which carries a mandatory sentence enhancement.
Young sentenced him to 28-72 months on each count, to be served consecutively. If he fails probation, he would be facing a minimum of seven years in prison. He must also complete 200 hours of community service in the first 18 months. The period of his probation is five years. This is McLaughlin’s second conviction for drug sales. He was sentenced to consecutive 12-48-month terms in 2015.