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Crack cocaine drug dealer faces prison

CONCORD — A Massachusetts man described as the head of a drug organization that distributed crack cocaine near the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua, as well as in Massachusetts, was convicted of two drug charges in U.S. District Court.

A jury convicted Rafael Benitez, 45, of Lawrence, of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and the unlawful distribution of more than 280 grams of cocaine base ("crack&#';).

U.S. Attorney John P. Kacavas said Benitez organization delivered crack to customers in Nashua using runners to sell the drugs in and around the Pheasant Lane Mall.

He was originally indicted on the charges by a federal grand jury in May 2011 and trial testimony identified Benitez as the head of a drug organization that distributed quantities of crack

throughout the Drum Hill area of Chelmsford/Lowell, Mass., and in Nashua during the last five years.

Benitez is scheduled to be sentenced July 20, and is facing a mandatory prison minimum of 10 years and a $2 million dollar fine. Upon release from prison, Benitez is subject to deportation to the Dominican Republic.


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