"I will not quit. Who is responsible for this is still out there. I'm not giving up. I'm going to fight, and fight and bring this person or people forward that did this. Because I did not," said Koula at his sentencing.

Heroin floods La Crosse

In the courts and on the streets, the La Crosse Police Department waged a war on heroin in every corner of the city in 2012.

Because of new regulations, people who abused painkillers are finding the pills more expensive and harder to get. Many of them switch to heroin looking for a more extreme high, for a lot less money.

The difference is a buyer never knows how pure the heroin is until they use it.

"It literally is like playing Russian roulette. You don't know how potent it is, how pure it is. You just don't know. And some users will try that heroin and, depending upon the purity of it, that could be their last time," said La Crosse police Detective Sgt. Dan Kloss.

Many of the ones who do survive end up in the emergency room.

"Roughly, we probably see five patients in a week's time who have some form of overdose of heroin," said Gundersen Lutheran emergency physician Robert Zink.

New La Crosse Police Chief Ron Tischer said striking back against the dealers is one of his top priorities.

"We want to create the atmosphere that they're not welcome here. And the Police Department is going to continue to work hard to make sure that that's the message we send to the drug dealers and the people who want to come to La Crosse and commit a crime,” said Tischer.