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City man pleads guilty to drug distribution charges

By Alex Bridges - abridges@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG -- A Winchester-area man could serve at least five years in federal prison for plotting to deal 10 ounces of cocaine in the Winchester area in August.

Eduardo Lopez-Cervantes, no age available, of Winchester, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg last week to one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, and of conspiring to distribute it.

Possession with intent to distribute carries a mandatory term of five years, and up to 40 years in prison, plus a maximum fine of $2 million. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million.

Lopez-Cervantes pleaded guilty to the charges under an agreement reached between his counsel, Aaron Cook, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Grayson Hoffman.

A statement of facts filed with the plea agreement indicates a buyer called the defendant, his cocaine supplier, Aug. 24 to place an order. Lopez-Cervantes agreed to deliver 10 ounces of cocaine that evening, the document states. The two men agreed to conduct the transaction in the Martin's Food Market parking lot, according to the statement.

Lopez-Cervantes arrived with the agreed-upon amount of the drug about an hour later, the document states. Law enforcement officers arrested Lopez-Cervantes and seized the cocaine, according to the statement.

Lopez-Cervantes agreed to talk after he was read his Miranda rights. He admitted to officers he was attempting to distribute the 10 ounces of cocaine, the statement of facts indicates.

Lopez-Cervantes told officers he distributes cocaine for another man who pays him $200 per deal, according to the information in the document. Lopez-Cervantes said he has distributed drugs for his supplier at least 10 times.

The defendant signed the statement, indicating he agreed the prosecutor had accurately represented the facts of the case. No sentencing date has been set.

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