- Associated Press - Saturday, December 23, 2017

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) - An Eau Claire man has been sentenced to five years in prison for burglarizing multiple storage units and residences across northwestern Wisconsin to support his methamphetamine addiction.

The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reports Eau Claire County Circuit Judge William Gabler sentenced 36-year-old Travis J. Hagman on Friday. Hagman is already serving a four-year prison sentence for violating his probation related to previous burglaries and thefts.

Hagman pleaded no contest in October to five felony counts of burglary during the summer of 2016. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to drop 18 other burglary counts against him.

The state Department of Corrections recommended a three- to four-year prison sentence, but the judge said Hagman deserved five years.

“Anything less would seriously depreciate the seriousness of these offenses,” Gabler said.

Prosecutors said Hagman recruited a band of thieves who broke into storage units and homes in Altoona, Eau Claire and Fall Creek, making off with coins, jewelry and other items small enough to carry easily. Investigators linked Hagman to the break-ins after they discovered his blood in a storage unit.

“It was a large operation,” Eau Claire County Assistant District Attorney Meri Larson said. “(Hagman) got pretty good at it … it was evident to (investigators) that Mr. Hagman was the mastermind of this operation.”

Hagman said he’s addicted to methamphetamine and his thefts were used to pay for his habit. His two children attended the sentencing hearing. He said he wanted them there “to see what addiction can do to somebody” and he that needs treatment.

Larson noted Hagman previously turned down treatment for drug addiction.

“It is very difficult to know when Mr. Hagman is being sincere about anything,” she said.

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Information from: Leader-Telegram, http://www.leadertelegram.com/

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