Mexican Cartel is the source for ‘Unprecedented’ Meth Operation at Marietta Home

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Lancaster County detectives uncovered a major methamphetamine-dealing operation, which was rooted to a Mexican cartel.

Charles “Bennie” Benfer IV, 51, is charged with felony drug-dealing and other charges related to the 111 grams of meth found at his Marietta home during a recent raid. The raid was the culmination of a 7-month investigation.

During a search last month at Benfer’s West Front Street home (a converted garage), detectives also found 86 grams of marijuana and paraphernalia for packing

Packaged drugs and money recovered from Benfer's home/ Lancaster County Detectives

Packaged drugs and money recovered from Benfer’s home/ Lancaster County Detectives

and selling drugs.

Benfer also had a pair of storage sheds on Stackstown Road in Conoy Township, where police found oxycodone pills and additional drug-packaging supplies.

He had been receiving 111 grams of meth (4 ounces) – per week – from a source in Mesa, Ariz. That source had connections to a Mexican cartel, according to the detectives.

The meth has an estimated street value of $11,000. When found in Lancaster County, it’s primarily in the suburbs, according to detectives.

Lancaster County Drug Task Force said that the amount of meth is uncommon for Lancaster County. Typically, the drug is found in single gram amounts, or less.

“Methamphetamine has devastating impact – it destroys lives in short time,” Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said Monday. “Finding this amount in one home is unprecedented in Lancaster County, at least in recent memory.”

Benfer is being held at Lancaster County Prison on $150,000 bail and will be tried in Lancaster County Court on all charges.

“We can’t underestimate the importance of this arrest,” Stedman said. “Mexico is already the root source for much of the heroin in Lancaster’s supplier cities. The detectives cut a major transport operation of another poison coming into our community.”