Watertown drug dealer sentenced in 2016 death in 16-year-old

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DODGE COUNTY, Wis. — A Watertown woman was sentenced Wednesday in the death of a 16-year-old child.

According to a news release from the Dodge County District Attorney, Debra Patroelj, 52, was sentenced to six years of initial confinement and 14 years of supervision for first-degree reckless homicide.

The release said Patroelj was a drug dealer who supplied the substances that caused the death of a 16-year-old in January 2016.

In 2016, officials responded to a home on Perry Street in Watertown where they found the 16-year-old dead. Officials said an autopsy later showed benzodiazepines, cannabinoids and methadone in their system. The release said the 16-year-old had traded Patroelj $30 of marijuana for six pills of methadone, which the 16-year-old once consumed.

“This is a case where a woman who had been dealing pills gave methadone to a 16-year-old adolescent and the drugs killed that adolescent,” said. Assistant District Attorney James T. Sempf at the sentencing. “This case is not about treatment; it’s about punishment. In addition, prison is necessary to protect the community from the defendant’s ways.”