Like father, son gets prison for meth convictionThe crimes of the father were passed on to the son in the case of Derrick Wade Kastern.
By: Maria Lockwood, The Daily Telegram
The crimes of the father were passed on to the son in the case of Derrick Wade Kastern.
The 21-year-old was sentenced Tuesday in Douglas County Court to three and a half years in the Wisconsin state prison system for delivery of methamphetamine and felony bail jumping. His father, Paul Douglas Kastern, 41, is serving a five-year sentence for dealing methamphetamine.
District Attorney Dan Blank called the elder Kastern’s case a “breakthrough,” one of the rare examples of a drug dealer getting more than probation or time in the county jail.
“It’s the kind of message we hope to send … that a meth dealer will go to prison,” he said.
Following Tuesday’s sentencing, Blank said a connection can be drawn between what the younger Kastern learned growing up and his involvement with drugs. The young man’s mother said as much in a letter to Judge Michael Lucci.
“Derrick was always a good kid, but he had a bad dad — Paul Kastern — who taught him about stealing and drugs,” wrote Michelle Kastern. She said if her son didn’t do what her ex-husband said, he would beat the boy.
She told Lucci that intensive treatment was what her son needed to break the cycle.
“Derrick has three small children, and I know something has to be done to turn him around,” she said.
Her one request was simple: “The only thing I wish as a mother is to be able to hug him goodbye,” she wrote.
Paul Kastern’s arrest history does back to the 1980s, but convictions are few because of his willingness to help law enforcement. His pattern was to become an informant and work with police when he got into legal trouble, Blank said, going as far as setting up his own attorney.
His son’s criminal record includes one felony and 10 misdemeanor convictions — ranging from burglary theft and criminal trespass to numerous operating a motor vehicle after revocation charges — dating back to 2003. He has had his license revoked, been on probation and spent some time in jail, Blank said, but it hasn’t made an impact.
“He’s only 21 and he’s going to prison,” the district attorney said.
A trio of controlled drug buys in January and February by the Superior Police Department utilizing a confidential informant led to three delivery of methamphetamine charges against Derrick Kastern.
According to the criminal complaint, the younger Kastern told police that he regularly used meth but did not abuse it. He told them he could stop using if he wanted to and that he would “help” people find methamphetamine.
He pleaded guilty to one of the felony charges in May. The other two were dismissed but read in the record for sentencing. The felony bail jumping charge stemmed from an April traffic stop during which meth was found in his wallet.
The younger Kastern’s sentence calls for 21 months initial confinement and 21 months on extended supervision. As part of the sentence, he was ordered to pay $600 restitution, court costs totaling $200 and undergo a chemical dependency evaluation and follow the recommendations.
Telegram News Editor Shelley Nelson contributed to this story.