One of Madison's most notorious drug dealers will spend at least another decade behind bars.
Thursday, Dane County Judge Peter Anderson sentenced 23-year-old Damien Smith to 12 years in bars and another 13 on probation.
Over the summer, Madison Police began a collaboration with other agencies to identify career criminals. Smith among them, the individuals were offered housing, child care, employment, and other services in the hope they would go clean, or risk diligent prosecution. There are now 30 names on that list, criminals with more than 900 charges between them. So far five are back in prison, but the Special Investigations Unit says the others are behaving better.
"We've already heard on the street that associates of Mr. Smith are aware of what happened, and are aware of the program, and that's really what we're hoping for," said Madison Police Lt. Thomas Woodmansee.
Dane County Asst. District Attorney Corey Stephen says Smith was give every chance to turn his life around, and chose not to, continuing to deal cocaine and heroin while being involved in violent gang attacks.
"Literally he is running his drug organization from the Dane County Jail," said Stephens. "He was offered food to feed his family, to get his life on track, but he would rather pay for it using drug money."
Smith apologized to the court.
“Your honor, there was a lot going on, sometimes when you just get overwhelmed with things, you don't perform to your best ability,” he said.
“I can't really say it's an acceptable excuse that ‘the reason I didn't complete my education at MATC was I was busy drug dealing and getting put in jail for it,’” said Judge Anderson. “Even if you had no guns or drugs we have people dying with needles in their arms.”
Smith also faces federal charges for drug dealing this summer. If convicted, he could face another decade in prison.