CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Senior U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley sentenced a Morgantown man, Tuesday, to 16 months in federal prison for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy, Acting U.S. Attorney Randolph Bernard announced.

Andrew Benson, 35, pleaded guilty in April 2021 to one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin and Cocaine Base.” Benson admitted to working with others to distribute the drugs from March 2018 to September 2020 in Monongalia County and elsewhere.

Andrew Benson

Benson was indicted, along with 16 other people, in September 2020. Of that group of 17 people, 16 have pleaded guilty and one was found not guilty at trial.

Benson is the fifth member of the group to be sentenced. He initially faced up to 20 years of in federal prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. He remains in the Central Regional Jail pending a transfer to a federal facility.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Mon Metro Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force and the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office investigated.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.