A town of Waukesha woman will spend nine months in jail after she was recently found guilty of stealing and selling roughly $13,000 of merchandise from an Oconomowoc store and using the money to fund her drug addiction.
Brianna Pacetti, 24, pleaded no contest in May to felony theft of movable property, according to court records. She was sentenced June 29 in Waukesha County Circuit Court.
Judge Michael Maxwell, who presided over the hearing, sentenced Pacetti to nine months in jail — three months of 'straight time' and six months with work-release privileges — as a condition of her probation.
Maxwell imposed but stayed a 38-month prison term for Pacetti in favor of three years of probation, including the jail term.
Pacetti and 25-year-old Tyler Lewein of Ixonia were accused last October of stealing and selling various merchandise worth a combined total of $13,664.81 from the La Belle Co. and using the money to buy heroin and pay their rent.
Court records indicate Lewein's case is still pending.
As conditions of her probation, Pacetti must maintain absolute sobriety, submit to random drug screenings and maintain full-time employment or some combination of employment and schooling.
She will also be obligated to pay an undetermined amount of restitution. A restitution hearing is scheduled for Aug. 31, court records show.
Pacetti was originally charged as party to the crime of theft of movable property of more than $10,000. That charge was amended as part of a plea agreement. Court records show that Pacetti was also facing a misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession charge in an unrelated case, but that charge was dismissed.
A criminal complaint alleged that Pacetti and Lewein, who were dating at the time, both worked for the La Belle Co., which buys merchandise from stores that have gone out of business and resells it on eBay, and started stealing from the business in late 2014.
According to the complaint, Pacetti told police that she would hide various items in her purse and sneak them out of the store. Later, she and Lewein would resell the items on Lewein's personal eBay account and use the money they made 'to feed their drug habit and pay for their rent,' the complaint said.
A changed woman
Pacetti's friends and family filed several letters with the court on her behalf that describe how Pacetti has turned her life around since she was charged.
'Brianna has worked so hard to get where she is at now,' her older sister wrote in a letter to the court. 'She is on the way to making something beautiful of her life.
'After she has made amends, I would love to see my sister go back to school and get a degree in something she is passionate about ... Brianna has so much to give and so much love to spread. Her journey is just beginning.'
Other letters describe how Pacetti is now a regular attendee at local Narcotics Anonymous meetings — she reportedly holds two leadership positions with the group — and recently achieved 10 months of sobriety.
Case still pending
Lewein's case remains ongoing, court records show. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for July 21.
He stands accused of theft of movable property of more than $10,000; if convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
Court records indicate that Lewein has a criminal record — he was convicted of disorderly conduct and drug paraphernalia possession — and is facing drug and paraphernalia possession charges in a separate case as well.