NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) —A New Bedford career criminal who was convicted last month of trafficking cocaine was sentenced yesterday to serve eight to 10 years in state prison.

According to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, Benjamin Duarte, 54, was convicted on drug charges from April 2016.

At that time, New Bedford Police executed a search warrant at Duarte's second-floor apartment located at 407 Park Street. As a result of the search, police recovered 51.99 grams of cocaine and two and two-thirds pounds of marijuana.

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According to the D.A.'s Office, the drug evidence consisted of 44 grams of rock-like cocaine and eight individual bags of cocaine powder, bagged with intent for distribution.

In addition, there were three bottles of isotonic powder (which the D.A.'s Office said is a common substance used to mix with cocaine to increase the amount of product for sale), a grinder, multiple boxes of plastic sandwich bags, scissors, two digital scales, cut-corner baggies and $1,680 in cash.

Duarte has a nine-page criminal record dating back to the early 1980s, including convictions for firearm offenses, assaults and robberies.

He also has two more pending cocaine trafficking cases currently scheduled for trial later this spring, the D.A.'s Office said.

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