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updated: 1/10/2013 11:01 AM

Man chokes back tears as he pleads not guilty in fatal drug sale

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An Ingleside man accused of supplying the drugs that killed a friend held back tears as he pleaded not guilty to drug-induced homicide charges in Lake County court Thursday.

Brian Stedronsky, 33, remains in Lake County jail in lieu of $350,000 bond after he was accused of supplying Jeffrey Ferris, 30, with patches of the highly-potent pain reliever Fentanyl, Lake County authorities said.

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Stedronsky, who was in court sporting a cast on his left arm, choked back tears after Lake County Judge Christopher Stride told the Ingleside resident he could be incarcerated for up to 30 years if found guilty of drug-induced homicide.

Authorities said Ferris was found dead in his Ingleside home Sept. 18 after he cut open the patches of Fentanyl and sucked out the pain reliever.

Brian Stedronsky, and his mother Carolyn, both of the 35000 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, are accused by authorities of supplying the patches to Ferris. They were arrested Dec. 4.

Lake County sheriff's officials said Carolyn Stedronsky took the prescription patches from her husband and sold them to her son, who sold the patches to Ferris.

The unidentified husband, who was prescribed the patches following back surgery, was unaware they had been taken and was not charged.

Carolyn Stedronsky, 52, pleaded not guilty to drug-induced homicide earlier this month. She remains in Lake County jail in lieu of $250,000 bond.

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