‘I’m deeply sorry:’ West Allis man sentenced to 10 years in connection with man’s heroin death

Brian Vrana sentencing

WAUKESHA COUNTY  -- A drug user becomes a supplier that leads to the death of another user. It's a twisted scenario that law enforcement says plays out all too often -- only this supplier will spend the next ten years behind bars.

Thirty-two-year-old Brian Vrana of West Allis, entered a Waukesha courtroom Friday, July 6 fully aware he was about to be sentenced to time behind bars -- a place he's quite familiar with.

Brian Vrana sentencing

Brian Vrana sentencing

"Since I been out of prison I can honestly say if I wasn't using drugs I probably wouldn't be here right now, and Benjamin Coullard would still probably be here. I know I played a big role in what happened that day," said Vrana.

According to the criminal complain, Benjamin Coullard solicited Vrana for heroin for himself, and cocaine for some friends in June of 2017.

Coullard's mother spoke in court Friday:

Susan Coullard

"We believe that if Ben had not been contacted that night by some old friends who wanted drugs that he would not have gone to get them," said Susan Coullard.

The judge noted that Coullard was transferring cocaine too.

"Nonetheless, his wrongdoing doesn't make Brian Vrana's wrongdoing any less wrong," said Judge Ralph Ramirez.

After ingesting the heroin, Coullard died.

"First I can't tell them how many times I'm sorry. I'm deeply sorry. I think about it every day, and the poor choice I made," Vrana said.

Vrana's twin brother, and former drug user, told the court the drugs cause addicted people to do things they wouldn't normally do.

Louie Vrana

"Such as steal, steal from loved ones, lie, middle-man transactions, etc. etc.," Brian's brother, Louie Vrana said. "You do not do all of these things because you are an evil, horrible person wanting to cause ill will. Your only focus is your next fix."

Ralph Ramirez

Judge Ramirez said those who use and distribute drugs contribute to the death and destruction in the community.

For the reckless homicide charge, Ramirez sentenced Vrana to six years in prison. For the delivery of cocaine, he sentenced him to four years in prison and six years of extended supervision for each. The time will run back to back -- meaning he's getting ten years in prison.