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Three face drug charges after police stings

January 20, 2007|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Three people were arraigned in Berkeley County Magistrate Court Friday on drug-related charges after two operations by members of the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, according to court records.

Florintino Hernandez of P.O. Box 2064 in Wauchula, Fla., and Efrain Marcos Lopez of 1670 Fort Braddock in Winchester, Va., each were charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, according to records.

According to a complaint filed by West Virginia State Police Cpl. B.W. Bean, task force members gave an undercover individual $2,000 to purchase two ounces of cocaine at a Berkeley County home on Thursday.

Lopez and Hernandez arrived at the home in a black Mazda, which they parked, then opened the vehicle's hood before going inside, according to the complaint.

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A third individual who resided at the home apparently was not charged, but Bean said that person was given the drugs by the defendants to sell to the task force's agent.

That undercover agent "attempted to give the defendants the recorded $2,000, but was told that they would be back tomorrow to pick up the money," Bean said in the complaint.

When police stopped the vehicle traveling south on U.S. 11, a search yielded "a portion of controlled money, which was used on a previous controlled purchase," Bean said.

In a separate operation on Thursday, Bean said police were able to identify a man known as "CUT" after employing a similar undercover drug deal along Hack Wilson Way near the Hot Dog Hut.

Devron Jerel Brown, 19, of 321 Pendleton Drive in Martinsburg, was charged by Bean with two counts of distribution of crack cocaine, according to records.

Magistrate Jim Humphrey set a $100,000 bond for each of the three men.

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