NEWPORT, Vt. (AP) — A judge has rejected a plea deal recommending up to five years in prison for a Vermont man charged with repeatedly selling heroin, some of it laced with fentanyl.

The Caledonian Record reports ( supporters of 48-year-old Kenneth Potwtin Sr. said he turned to heroin after his wife died suddenly in his arms after surgery two years ago. Potwin was one of dozens arrested on Feb. 14 during the largest drug raid in Newport's history.

Judge Howard VanBenthuysen sympathized with Potwin over the loss of his wife, but said the depression that followed doesn't justify the drug sale.

VanBenthuysen said the plea agreement wasn't enough and set the case for trial. He cited a Department of Corrections report that called for a minimum sentence of eight years in prison.


Information from: The Caledonian-Record,