BARRE — A Barre man has admitted to selling heroin that led to a fatal overdose.

Anthony Milo, 32, pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony counts of selling a regulated drug with death resulting, heroin sale and cocaine sale. Milo was sentenced to eight to 18 years to serve, all suspended except for 4½ years. He’s been held at Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury on $2,500 bail since his arraignment in June 2018.

The state agreed to dismiss a second felony count of selling cocaine, a felony count of selling a narcotic and misdemeanor counts of possessing cocaine, per the plea agreement.

Detective James Pontbriand, of the Barre City police, said in his affidavit an untimely death was reported in May 2018 at Highgate Apartments in Barre. Pontbriand said he learned 32-year-old Jesse Eklund was visiting a friend after work. When Eklund had gone upstairs to take a shower but hadn’t returned for an hour, a witness told police they went to check on him and found him face down on the floor with his body blocking the door. The witness then called 911.

Emergency responders pronounced Eklund dead at the scene. Pontbriand said he found drug paraphernalia at the scene as well as several empty baggies that are typically used to store heroin. He said the bags had a Playboy bunny stamped on them. Pontbriand said a medical examiner determined Eklund had died from a heroin overdose.

Pontbriand said he learned from other witnesses that Eklund had visited Milo earlier that day and the pair had discussed a drug deal on Facebook Messenger. He said the messages showed Eklund asking Milo what he had, and Milo told him “playboy.”

Milo told Eklund what he had was “amazing” and “legit and strong,” according to the affidavit. Pontbriand said Milo attempted to flee when a search warrant was executed on his home in May 2018. He said police found a backpack in the home with Milo’s identification inside as well as a small amount of cocaine and bags with the same Playboy stamp on them as those that were found with Eklund.

Pontbriand said Milo was cited for cocaine possession and released. After he was released, Pontbriand said he asked Milo about Eklund and he admitted to helping Eklund get drugs, but denied physically giving him the drugs.

For the cocaine and heroin selling convictions, police said Milo sold drugs to informants involved with the Vermont Drug Task Force in May 2017 and May 2018. The task force said Milo sold an informant heroin on May 2, 2017, cocaine on March 21, 2018 and May 23, 2018 and the stimulant Adderall on May 1, 2018.

In court Wednesday, Milo took responsibility for selling the heroin to Eklund. He wrote a statement for the court saying he thinks about Eklund every day and he’ll have to live with what he did.

eric.blaisdell @timesargus.com

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