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The original item was published from 3/14/2016 1:26:41 PM to 5/7/2016 5:00:06 PM.

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District Attorney

Posted on: March 14, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Marietta Man Charged in Mexico-to-Lancaster Meth Ring

Charles Benfer

Lancaster County detectives quashed a major methamphetamine-dealing operation, which was rooted to a Mexican cartel.
Charles “Bennie” Benfer IV is charged with felony drug-dealing and other charges regarding the 111 grams of meth found at his Marietta home during a recent raid, the culmination of a 7-month investigation.
Lancaster County Drug Task Force detectives said that amount of meth is uncommon for Lancaster County; typically, the drug is found in single gram amounts, or less.
Benfer, 51, had been receiving that amount (4 ounces) – per week – from a source in Mesa, Ariz. That source had connections to a Mexican cartel, according to the detectives.
“Methamphetamine has devastating impact - it destroys lives in short time,” Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said Monday. “Finding this amount in one home is unprecedented in Lancaster County, at least in recent memory.”
Benfer is at Lancaster County Prison on $150,000 bail. He was ordered last week to be tried in Lancaster County Court on all charges.
“We can’t underestimate the importance of this arrest,” Stedman said. “Mexico is already the root source for much of the heroin in Lancaster’s supplier cities. The detectives cut a major transport operation of another poison coming into our community.”
During a search last month at Benfer’s West Front Street home (a converted garage), detectives also found 86 grams of marijuana and paraphernalia for packing and selling drugs.
The meth has an estimated street value of $11,000. When found in Lancaster County, it’s primarily in the suburbs, according to detectives.
Mesa (Ariz.) police were of great assistance in the bust, monitoring activity and shipments from out west.
Benfer also had a pair of storage sheds on Stackstown Road in Conoy Township, where police found oxycodone pills and additional drug-packaging supplies.
Benfer is presumed innocent.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041;; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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