LAPORTE | At 18, Tyler Lukac is not getting much of a second chance due to the extent of his heroin dealings in LaPorte.
LaPorte Circuit Court Judge Tom Alevizos told Lukac on Friday that, if not for his youth, he would be doing even more time behind bars.
“You were not a small player in this operation. You contributed to a major problem that's killing people,” Alevizos said.
Lukac on Friday was given a 12-year sentence for Class B felony dealing in a schedule I controlled substance.
Four of those years will be served on probation after his release from incarceration.
Alevizos extended Lukac an opportunity for early release after five years but only if he's successful at substance abuse therapy.
“He needs to prove to me he is willing to make these changes,” said Alevizos.
Under a guilty plea, Lukac, when he was 17, admitted giving a ride to a man knowing he was taking the man to a location to sell heroin.
Allegations that Lukac twice engaged in the sale of heroin at his residence in the 3700 block of East 100 South were dismissed in exchange for the plea.
Alevizos said another reason for the stiff sentence against a defendant so young is that Lukac, after being charged with dealing drugs, posted bond and was still out on bail when he was arrested a second time for selling narcotics.
Originally, the case was filed in juvenile court but, given their serious nature, the charges were elevated to adult status.
Lukac apologized and expressed gratitude to the court for making substance abuse therapy part of his sentence.
Alevizos told Lukac kicking his habit won't be easy but if he does he has most of his life still ahead of him.
“It's going to be hard but you seem intelligent enough to learn what it's going to take,” Alevizos said.