Hancock pleads guilty to drug charges

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One of six co-defendants in a drug conspiracy indictment appears in federal court.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

ROANOKE — A Hillsville man pleaded guilty in federal court June 30 to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
Benjamin Lee Hancock, one of six Twin County residents charged in an 11-count indictment, appeared with his attorney to answer charges of conspiracy and distribution of meth in U.S. District Court in Roanoke, where he agreed to plead guilty to the one count.
"Count 1 charges me with conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine," the plea agreement, signed by Hancock, says.
The maximum statutory penalty is a $4 million fine and/or imprisonment for life, plus a term of supervised release. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
After a pre-sentencing report, federal prosecutor Andrew Bassford will recommend a punishment at the low end of the sentencing range, the court papers state.
Hancock is due back in court on Sept. 27 for sentencing.
One case out of the six remains to be heard by the federal court — Kenneth Joe Kennedy, charged with conspiracy and distribution of meth.
Sentencings are pending for Michael Samuel Sawyers, Stephanie Nicole Bean Davis and Bobby Wayne Thompson Sr.