“Don’t tell people what happened:” 10 years in prison for Milwaukee man after 2015 heroin overdose death

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FOND DU LAC COUNTY — A Milwaukee man has been sentenced to prison in connection with the heroin overdose death of Gary Van Norman in September of 2015.

Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney on Tuesday, August 1st announced Stephen Jordan was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison and six years extended supervision for first degree reckless homicide.

According to a news release, a combined investigation by the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department, the Fond du Lac County medical examiner and the Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Agency (HIDTA) resulted in Jordan being charged, convicted and sentenced.

Prosecutors say an investigation revealed Jordan and others were engaged in a complex, concerted effort to market and sell heroin and cocaine in SE Wisconsin in 2015, leading to Van Norman’s overdose death.

According to a criminal complaint, Van Norman was found dead on a bed around 1:00 pm. in the Village of Oakfield on September 15th, 2015. A needle and money were found near his body.

When investigators called his cell phone, which was not in his possession, a woman answered, who indicated she learned Van Norman had died after she spent time with him on September 14th and 15th, and said she accidentally picked up his phone thinking it was hers. An investigator was able to read a message on the woman’s phone which read: “Don’t tell people what happened here.” This woman told investigators she had hidden 1.7 grams of heroin in a plastic bag under a ball-cap in a room in the upper level of the house.

The substance was recovered and tested, and it tested positive for heroin.

Investigators learned Van Norman had been in the Green Lake County Jail until September 11th, and he was in Argonne, Wisconsin until September 13th. On that date, his phone was used to call a phone in the Milwaukee area.

According to the complaint, investigators spoke with an admitted heroin addict, who said he and another woman would buy heroin in Milwaukee and bring it back to Fond du Lac, where they would share it with each other and sell it to other addicts. He said on September 13th, he went to Milwaukee three separate times with the woman to buy heroin. On the evening of September 13th, this man said he got a call from the woman indicating she needed Narcan. He went to a gas station at the woman’s request, who believed Van Norman had overdosed.

Investigators took a look at phone records, which showed Van Norman’s phone in the Milwaukee area — near Sherman and Silver Spring on September 13th and 14th, and he called a phone number associated with a drug dealer. They also found a text message on Van Norman’s phone, sent by Van Norman, reading: “Get a hold of me. I just made a run.”

With help from officials with the Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Agency, investigators learned the telephone number called by Van Norman had been identified as being used in past and ongoing heroin transactions.

A search warrant was executed at a home near 105th and Caldwell on May 19th, 2015, and Jordan and his twin brother were taken into custody. The complaint indicates investigators found heroin, more than $10,000, firearms, ammunition, gloves, a money counter, scales and multiple cell phones. One cell phone was associated with the telephone number called by Van Norman, the complaint says.

A search warrant was executed on that phone, and drug-related text messages were found. The text messages showed Van Norman had purchased heroin utilizing this telephone number in the past. The complaint indicates Stephen Jordan was “porting,” or assigning this phone number to different electronic devices from jail.

Jordan pleaded no contest in May. He’ll begin serving his sentence after he’s concluded serving an extended supervision revocation sentence in a case out of Milwaukee County. Van Norman was able to be revived without the use of Narcan. Investigators learned the heroin he used was obtained in Milwaukee.