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Fairbanks man sentenced to 9 years for intent to sell crack cocaine

Jerzy Shedlock

A Fairbanks man was sentenced Wednesday in federal court to more than nine years in prison for possession of and intent to distribute crack cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alaska.

Benjamin Dewayne Smith, 37, received nine years and two months as well as four years of probation for a drug-dealing enterprise that used an apartment as a “trap house,” or a spot for storing and manufacturing illegal drugs, according to prosecutors.

An investigation began when Alaska State Troopers got a complaint about a suspected grow operation in an apartment building off Antoinette Street in Fairbanks. An occupant of that building complained about an “odor of fresh marijuana,” according to a federal criminal complaint.

Federal agents obtained and executed a search warrant on the apartment. During the search, they found nearly a pound of pot, 215 grams of powered cocaine and 62 grams of crack.

Items linked to drug distribution – spoons, plastic bags and rubber bands – were found inside a Ralph Lauren shoebox, according to the complaint. Smith’s fingerprints were pulled from the shoebox.

Smith’s record includes state convictions for distributing controlled substances and cocaine possession.