By Ashley Cox

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– Two Manatee County men have been sentenced for their respective roles in a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl on Friday, June 25.

Raphael Simean Bennett Jr. 35, of Bradenton and Andre Renodd Ackerman, Sr., 34, of Palmetto, were both charged. Bennett was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison and Ackerman was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison.

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Bennett had pleaded guilty on March 10, 2021, to one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, four counts of distribution of fentanyl, and one count of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl.

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Ackerman had pleaded guilty on March 11, 2021, to one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and one count of distribution of fentanyl.

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According to court documents, on August 14, 2019, Bennett and Ackerman sold one ounce of fentanyl to a confidential informant (CI) in Bradenton. On four other occasions, Bennett sold multiple ounces of fentanyl to the CI. On September 5, 2019, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Bennett’s residence and seized 626 grams of cocaine and 8 grams of fentanyl. On July 9, 2020, a deputy from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office lawfully searched Bennett’s car and found 8 grams of fentanyl, 13 grams of heroin, and 16 grams of cocaine.