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Perry Johnson Jr. had a hard time telling his 11-year-old son that he may going to prison for selling heroin, according to his attorney.
The 32-year-old New London man, who was arrested last year for selling the drug to a confidential informant in the city, said at his sentencing Monday in Superior Court that he takes full responsibility for his actions. He said he was ashamed by his arrest and has a strong support system in the community.
Judge Hillary B. Strackbein told him people are dying every day from heroin overdoses and that as a father, he is supposed to be a role model.
“I need you and your family to know we are not going to sit by and watch people sell heroin,” she said. “You’re selling poison to other people’s children.”
She sentenced him to 90 days in prison followed by five years of probation and ordered that he be electronically monitored for the first six months.
Johnson had pleaded guilty to sale of a narcotic and was facing up to three years in prison when he went before the judge. Under a plea deal with the state, his attorney, Anthony R. Basilica, had the right to argue for a reduced sentence. Basilica argued for an alternative incarceration program, telling the judge that Johnson had stayed out of trouble for 10 years, was in a serious relationship and was embarrassed by his arrest. Basilica said Johnson was trying to use the incident as a life lesson for his son. He noted one of Johnson’s co-defendants in the case received a 10-month sentence and another, a fully suspended sentence.
Johnson’s fiancée walked out of the courtroom alone and in tears as Judicial Marshals took him into custody.