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Civic Center heroin dealer sentenced to five years federal prison

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A Civic Center heroin trafficker was sentenced to over five years in federal prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to possessing with the intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin, according to federal prosecutors.

Marvin Gustavo Benegas-Castro, a 32-year-old Oakland resident, was sentenced to 62 months in federal prison for possession of heroin with the intent to distribute.

The San Francisco Police Department began investigating 32-year-old Benegas-Castro last August after seeing him selling what police believed to be heroin in the Civic Center Plaza.

Upon arrest on August 31, Benegas-Castro had 35 grams of heroin in baggies and bindles in his possession and 9 grams of methamphetamine, according to prosecutors.

Investigators then found over a pound of heroin after raiding Benegas-Castro’s apartment in Oakland, along with $3,572 in cash, a digital scale, plastic baggies and more methamphetamine and cocaine inside.

In his plea agreement, Benegas-Castro admitted that on the day of his arrest he had the narcotics on him and intended to sell more than 100 grams of heroin, according to the federal case documents.

With three drug charges against him, Benegas-Castro could have faced up to 40 years in prison, but he pleaded guilty to one count of distribution and possession with the intent to distribute heroin. The two other federal charges against him were dropped, cutting his sentence down to 62-months, according to court records.

In addition to a five-year prison term, Benegas-Castro will also be required to serve a five-year period of supervised release after he finishes his sentence.

Benegas-Castro, a Honduran national, has been detained since his arrest. Prosecutors argued for his immediate detention on the basis that he was a flight risk in a November 2017 hearing, court records show.

He will begin serving his sentence immediately.

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