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Waukesha County man gets 18 years in heroin overdose deaths

Aug. 11, 2009

Waukesha — A Genesee man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for the heroin overdose deaths of two men.

Luke J. Bandkowski, 29, pleaded guilty in May as part of plea agreement. He was convicted of causing the December 2007 death of Joshua J. Carroll, 26, of the Town of Waukesha and the February 2008 death of Jeffrey S. Topczewski, 22, of Muskego.

Bandkowski is one of 27 people from Milwaukee, Chicago and Waukesha County who were arrested in July 2008 as the result of an investigation dubbed Operation Lake Effect by federal, state and local authorities that began in early 2007.

Those arrested are accused of being part of a heroin conspiracy that authorities say led to 11 overdoses, five of them fatal.

According to the criminal complaints filed against Bandkowski in Waukesha County Circuit Court, Bandkowski was supplying heroin to Carroll and was selling heroin to a woman who supplied it to Topczewski.

Bandkowski in separate cases was charged with first-degree reckless homicide. Circuit Judge Richard Congdon on Monday sentenced Bandkowski to nine years in prison on each count and ordered the prison terms to be served consecutively. Bandkowski also was placed on a total of 10 years of extended supervision upon his release from prison.

Bandkowski also was charged in federal court in Milwaukee and was convicted. He is awaiting sentencing in that case and faces a minimum of 20 years in prison.

As part of a plea agreement in that case, federal prosecutors are recommending that the sentence be served at the same time as the prison term in the Waukesha County cases.

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