A local man who continued dealing drugs while at the same time working as a police informant was ordered Friday to serve 15 years in prison.

Stephen Don Carter, 44, of Stafford County was sentenced by Judge Ricardo Rigual in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court to 40 years, with 25 years suspended. He had previously been convicted of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and conspiracy.

Prosecutor Ryan Mehaffey said Carter negated the goodwill he had earned in helping police by continuing to sell drugs.

“He’s a professional drug dealer,” Mehaffey said at the sentencing hearing. “You can’t be selling drugs on the side while you’re supposed to walking the straight and narrow.”

According to the evidence presented by Mehaffey, Carter distributed large amounts of methamphetamines in the Fredericksburg area between 2011 and 2015. He frequently traveled to Las Vegas and purchased “high-quality” meth that he either mailed to himself or had a contact in Las Vegas mail to him.

Mehaffey said a lengthy investigation headed by Detective Ray Haney revealed that Carter’s primary contact initially was Floyd Michael Dodson, who went to high school with Carter in Stafford.

Dodson, 44, lived in Las Vegas for a while and was the middle man between Carter and a Las Vegas supplier, the evidence showed. Dodson is serving a two-year prison sentence for his role in the operation.

At some point, the evidence showed, Dodson’s former girlfriend learned about the arrangement between Carter and Dodson. Authorities allege that after she told Carter she could get the drugs for a cheaper price, Carter began working with her, leaving his high school friend out in the cold.

The former girlfriend, Dawn Bertinelli, is facing drug charges in Spotsylvania and Las Vegas, Mehaffey said. She is still in the Las Vegas area.

According to the evidence, shortly after Carter switched suppliers, authorities here got an anonymous tip in June 2015 that he was dealing large amounts of meth in the Fredericksburg area. Not long after getting the tip, officers raided Carter’s Spotsylvania home and found 7 ounces of meth in a safe, along with cash.

Carter was apprehended the next day and admitted that he’d been getting between one to two pounds of meth a month from Las Vegas. He immediately offered to work with police and set up a controlled purchase that resulted in Dodson’s arrest.

Area detectives flew to Las Vegas to interview Dodson and eventually extradited him to Virginia.

Carter was involved in two other police-controlled drug deals on June 30, 2015, that resulted in four other arrests, the evidence showed. Theresa Lynn Breedon, 43, of Elkton came to the Fredericksburg area and purchased 4.5 ounces of meth from Carter as part of a sting operation. She was convicted of drug offenses Wednesday in Spotsylvania.

Two men who accompanied her from western Virginia that day, Billy Ray Breeden of Luray and James A. Hudson of Penn Laird, were arrested and later convicted of possession charges.

On that same day, David Travis Fitzgerald of Stuarts Draft showed up for a scheduled drug deal with Carter and was also arrested. He was later convicted and got a suspended sentence.

Mehaffey said the investigation was still ongoing when police learned that Carter had been arrested for distributing heroin in Baltimore in early 2016 while he was free on bond on his Spotsylvania charges.

He was also arrested in Stafford in March of this year and charged with possession of heroin with the intent to distribute. A trial on that charge is scheduled for Oct. 18.

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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