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Family of drug victim speaks on pusher’s sentence

Ten years for fatal fentanyl dose
Posted at 8:16 PM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 22:16:49-05

TUCSON, Ariz - As fentanyl deaths rise -- law enforcement is pushing for tougher sentences -- for drug pushers.

Lana Leshinsky woman was just sentenced to ten years in Federal prison with three years probation after release.

That punishment means a lot to law enforcement and to the family of the man killed by the drugs she sold.

For his family's privacy we will know him as Bruce.

His mother Sandy says, “He had two children. One he lost at three months. He was murdered. He suffered PTSD, TBI, migraines and hearing loss from his Iraq service."

With so many sources of pain, his family says this proud veteran turned to drugs.

That led him to Lana Leshinsky who sold him the fentanyl that left him dead in his own bathroom, with his son outside the door.

Evidence in the case included a text message: Here's part of it.

Leshinsky says: Have u tried the powder **** we got? It's strong, it's not fentanyl.......

Bruce says: No I have not but it sounds good! I get paid within an HR....

Leshinsky: OK ku im gonna bring the powder it's a bit more $ bit worth it......

Leshinsky: I got that made listen 2 me its really strong do not do more than a pinch. 3 of us habe fallen out off a tiny bit. U can always do more. Ok? If you die that's on us so u don't wanna do that to us right?

Bruce's mother says he was trying to get Suboxone a drug often used to help opioid get off drugs. She says he would not knowingly buy Fentanyl but that text shows Leshinsky knew what she was selling.

Sandy quotes part of Leshinsky’s text: “And you know, it's strong but it's not fentanyl, but if you die that's on us. And that just slams you know, into your heart and reality, you know, that she knew what she had.”

She says in court Leshinsky conceded she and two other people overdosed on drugs from the same batch they sold to Bruce but they were able to save themselves with the opioid antidote called Narcan.

Counter Narcotics Alliance Commander Captain John Leavitt says law enforcement is pushing for stiffer sentences and no one can really claim they didn't know they were selling something dangerous.

“And they know that it could lead to the death of the person regardless of the drug they're selling. I just it's not a defense to you, giving somebody poison to put in their body it could potentially kill them, and it does often."

Bruce's family knows if Leshinsky had not pleaded guilty a trial could have put her away for 20 years.

Bruce’s mother Sandy says drug dealers should face the toughest penalties the law allows and says of Leshinsky’s sentence: "I'm glad she's off the street for 10 years, and nobody, no other families can be hurt."