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Woodstock man pleads guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine

WOODSTOCK -- A local man pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy to distribute cocaine after he set up a drug transaction for a confidential informant.

WOODSTOCK — A local man pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy to distribute cocaine after he set up a drug transaction for a confidential informant.

Sirreginald Benton, 41, was in contact with the informant about buying cocaine from Benton at a Woodstock residence, Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wiseley explained. The informant, equipped with $500 in Virginia State Police funds, allegedly bought seven grams of cocaine from Ricardo Gomes, whose drug distribution charges are still pending in Shenandoah County Circuit Court. After the transaction, Wiseley said, the informant gave Benton’s “significant other” $40 for setting up the deal, but Benton was not present for the transaction.

Benton was one of 25 individuals arrested in March after a year-long investigation the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office conducted after learning of a large number of drugs being sold to teens in Woodstock.

Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp accepted the plea agreement in the case, which called for the prosecution to dismiss two drug distribution charges against Benton. There was no agreement on sentencing, so a pre-sentence investigation report was ordered. A sentencing hearing has been set for Feb. 7 in Shenandoah County Circuit Court.

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