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Jun 17, 2016 4:35 PM

Family of Atkinson man who overdosed and died protests sentence for supplier

ATKINSON - A man who admitted to giving a fatal dose of heroin to his best friend was given a plea deal and is eligible for a reduced sentence.

Nicholas Austin, 25, was sentenced to 3 to 13 years in the New Hampshire State prison, but can be released on probation after completing a six-month drug treatment program.

Austin gave heroin to Thomas Drake who was found dead in his bed on September 7, 2014.

Drake's family said Austin needs help and should have served more time behind bars.

"Nicky is going do 6 months in a treatment program and we're sentenced to a life without my son Tom Drake," said Drake's mother Pamela Drake.

Drake's grandmother said she's traumatized after finding her grandson dead, and she wanted a tougher sentence to set a precedence.

"There are no words that can describe the pain, the anger, the despair. Not to mention the financial burden that Nick Austin has caused," Pam Willis said.

"This epidemic must be stopped and individuals who supply it should take responsibility for their actions," Willis said.

Prosecutors said the plea deal was appropriate because Austin was not a major dealer, and was supporting his own habit.

Austin purchased the drugs in Massachusetts from Feliz Quintero Aguilar, who goes by several names and is wanted by the FBI in connection with Drake's death.

In court, Austin called Drake his best friend and brother.

"To say I'm sorry doesn't even touch it," Austin said.

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