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Man gets 2 years for selling synthetic drug

A Willow Wood man arrested in January for selling a synthetic stimulant was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Brian Benicker, 34, of 5712 State Route 378, pleaded guilty to a third-degree count of trafficking in Alpha-PVP. A fourth-degree count of trafficking was dismissed.

“I just wanted to say I’m sorry for selling drugs,” Benicker said before sentencing.

In addition to two years in prison, Judge Charles Cooper also ordered the man to pay a $5,000 fine and suspended his driver’s license for one year.

Benicker, along with his brother, Urian Benicker, was arrested on Jan. 28 by the Ironton’s Police Department’s drug task force.

Urian pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree count of trafficking in Alpha-PVP back in February. Cooper sentenced him to one year in prison.

In an unrelated case, a man accused of selling prescription drugs out of Ironton’s Holiday Inn Express and Suites was arraigned.

Charles Shelby, 27, with addresses listed in Keego Harbor, Michigan, and Sandusky, pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree aggravated trafficking in drugs and third-degree tampering with evidence.

Cooper set bond at $150,000 cash or surety and set a pretrial for April 15.

Other cases heard in common pleas court on Wednesday were:

• Kristen Easterling, 20, of 7295 S. Ninth St., Ironton, was arraigned on three charges of third-degree trafficking in drugs and a single fourth-degree count of trafficking in drugs, all of which alleged the woman was selling oxycodone. She pleaded not guilty.

Cooper set bond at $25,000 cash or surety or $25,000 property plus GPS monitoring. A pretrial was set for April 15.

• Douglas Price Jr., 32, of 2205 N. Sixth St., Ironton, was arraigned on five third-degree counts of trafficking in drugs (oxycodone), to which he pleaded not guilty.

Cooper set bond at $50,000 cash or surety and set a pretrial for April 15.

• Stephanie Martin, 42, of 20 Township Road 1039 Apt. 9, Chesapeake, pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree count of trafficking in drugs, first-degree complicity to trafficking in heroin and fourth-degree counts of complicity to trafficking in drugs and complicity to trafficking in marijuana. Sentencing was set for May 6.

• Stephanie Harrison, 48, of 1452 McCormick Road, Gallipolis, was arraigned on a fifth-degree count of theft from an elderly person, to which she pleaded not guilty.

Bond was set at $10,000 cash or surety and a pretrial was set for April 15.

• Tabitha Horsley, 26, of 109 Pinecrest Drive, Ashland, pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree count of receiving stolen property. A fifth-degree count of theft was dismissed.

Cooper set sentencing for April 15.

• Fred McConnell, 38, of 2918 Fourth Ave., Huntington, was arraigned on a bill of information of fourth-degree assault and misdemeanor resisting arrest and obstruction of official business, to which he pleaded guilty.

Cooper set sentencing for April 15.

• Justin Burns, 26, of 3110 Fifth Ave., Huntington, admitted community control sanctions violations and was sentenced to six months in prison.

• Dwayne Fortner, 28, of South Point, admitted CCS violations. Sentencing was set for June 3.