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New Bedford man sentenced to prison for heroin trafficking

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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — A heroin trafficker in New Bedford has been convicted and will spend the next five to six years behind bars in a state prison.

The Bristol County District Attorney’s office announced Friday that a superior court jury convicted Benvindo Rocha of trafficking in excess of 18 grams of heroin.

According to a news release, Rocha was taken into custody by New Bedford Police on May 16, 2015. An open default warrant against Rocha led to the investigation that observed Rocha leave his residence and get into a taxi that day. A short time after that, the taxi was pulled over by police and searched upon permission.

Police say they found a black pouch behind the third row of the seats of the taxi that contained 28 grams of heroin and smaller amounts of SubOxone.

During the sentence hearing, the defendant of the case had requested a three to four year state prison sentence, while Assistant District Attorney Strojny argued for six to ten years in state prison, according to the news release.

In a statement, District Attorney Quinn thanked the jury members for their time and said, “This defendant has a long criminal record, and his drug dealing contributed to the ongoing heroin problem in the city…This state prison sentence will prevent him from continuing his drug dealing in New Bedford for a long period of time.”

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