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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — A New Bedford man will serve at least five years in prison after detectives discovered he was moving drugs through his clothing store and the apartment upstairs, according to the office of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III.

Jose Nieves-Beniquez, 47, pleaded guilty earlier this month to charges of trafficking cocaine and possession with intent to distribute a class D drug. He was sentenced to five to seven years in state prison.

Nieves-Beniquez ran Rosalinda’s Fashions on Allen Street. When police searched the store in June 2020, they found 220 grams of cocaine hidden in a closet, the DA’s office said. They also seized more than a pound of marijuana, $12,254 in cash, and drug distribution materials.

After learning Nieves-Beniquez lived above the store, the DA’s office said police searched there too and found a package containing another two and a half pounds of marijuana.

“I am pleased the defendant was held accountable for using his small business to sell large quantities of narcotics for profit,” Quinn said. “The defendant’s actions were helping to fuel the ongoing addiction crisis in our urban areas.”

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