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Esko man sentenced to 5 years in prison for overdose death

Luke John Hamsmeyer served as the middle man in the exchange of pills, according to court documents.

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Douglas County Circuit Court, Superior, Wisconsin. Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — An Esko man who supplied pills that led to the fatal overdose of a St. Louis County man in 2020 will spend five years in prison.

Luke John Hansmeyer, 36, pleaded no contest in Douglas County Circuit Court Feb. 1 to one count of first-degree reckless homicide/deliver drugs. Judge George Glonek accepted a joint recommendation by District Attorney Mark Fruehauf and defense attorney M. Joseph Rafferty Thursday, March 10, and sentenced Hansmeyer to five years in prison and six years of extended supervision. Hansmeyer was ordered to pay $10,345 restitution for funeral costs as well as a $1,000 fine and court costs.

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Luke Hansmeyer
Courtesy / Douglas County Jail

Hansmeyer served as the middle man for the pills, which appeared to be Oxycodone but tested positive for fentanyl, according to the criminal complaint. The supplier shipped the drugs to Hansmeyer, and he provided them to a Superior man, Colton James Lurye, 100 pills at a time.

Lurye sold five of the pills to the victim and his girlfriend shortly after receiving a batch from Hansmeyer, according to the criminal complaint. The St. Louis County man died later that night after taking the pills.

The victim’s mother told the court that the last time she saw her son was in her kitchen four hours before his death. He teased her about being short and talked about what to get his 6-year-old daughter for Valentine's Day.

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“I gave him a hug and told him I’d see him tomorrow. Tomorrow never came,” she said.

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Colton Lurye
Courtesy / Douglas County Jail

A medical examiner ruled that fentanyl toxicity was the cause of death. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. It is often mixed with other drugs, particularly heroin, to increase their potency. In a sentencing memorandum to the court, Fruehauf said that it appears neither Hansmeyer nor Lurye knew the drugs they were exchanging contained fentanyl.

Lurye, 28, pleaded no contest to one count of first-degree reckless homicide/deliver drugs on Feb. 11. His sentencing has been set for March 25.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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