Vogt still has a chance at a productive life, minus drugs

The arrest and trial of Ryan Vogt is something that got a lot of attention locally, as he was the first suspected drug dealer in Washington County to be charged with manslaughter due to an overdose death.

The case was a success for law enforcement and prosecutors, with Vogt being found guilty by a jury in March in the death of a 21-year-old Beverly man who overdosed on heroin just days after completing rehab.

Vogt was sentenced Thursday, receiving six years in prison out of a possible 14.

We’re a little disappointed in the sentence which we felt should have been more substantial.

Vogt shouldn’t have gotten more time just to send a message to other drug traffickers. Punishing him more because he was the first wouldn’t be just. But he should have gotten more time because his crime–as the dealer of deadly drugs– helped create the most serious of consequences.

A man died. And while the victim in the case certainly has personal responsibility for his choices, those pumping these lethal drugs into communities like ours are also responsible. Vogt didn’t just sell something illegal. He greatly contributed to a death.

Vogt’s clean criminal record prior to this offense likely weighed heavily on the judge’s decision to invoke a lighter sentence. But some crimes are serious enough on their own that a lack of past offenses perhaps shouldn’t matter. It was noted many times throughout the case that Vogt never seemed remorseful. We think that should have been a great factor in sentencing.

We hope that no matter the sentence that upon his release Vogt earns a lawful living and no longer contributes to an epidemic that takes lives and shatters communities.