drug bust benson

The Tallapoosa County Narcotics Task Force arrested two Alexander City residents following the execution of a search warrant on an Old Kellyton Road home Tuesday.

The task force’s Sgt. Fred White said the case was initiated after law enforcement received information of drugs being sold in the area.

“After weeks of surveillance and controlled buys, there was enough probable cause for a warrant,” White said. “During the search Tuesday, investigators seized approximately 88 grams of cocaine, 292 grams of marijuana, two firearms, $3,716 and a 2008 Dodge Avenger.”

White said investigators arrested Alexander City resident Kernard Benson, 25, and charged him with four counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, trafficking in cocaine, first-degree possession of marijuana, certain persons forbidden to possess a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Benson has been found guilty of possession of drugs in the past according to court records. In March 2018 he pleaded guilty to second-degree possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor, and sentenced to 24 months of probation. He was originally charged with first-degree possession of marijuana, a Class C felony. While on probation, Benson was charged with first-degree assault and released on a $50,000 bond. He was indicted and currently awaiting trial.

The task force also arrested Bernadette Benson, 56, and charged her with trafficking cocaine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bond has not been set for either defendant.

Unlawful distribution of a controlled substance is a Class B felony. If found guilty, Kernard Benson could face two to 20 years in prison for each count.

Trafficking cocaine is felony. If found guilty, both defendants could serve at least three years in prison and pay a $50,000 fine if found guilty.

White said the case remains under investigation.

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.