One of the five people arrested last year after they mistook undercover Stafford detectives for illegal drug consumers was ordered Wednesday to serve six years in prison.

Jacob Elijah Dougherty, 23, of Rochester, N.Y., pleaded guilty in Stafford Circuit Court to possession with the intent to distribute illegal drugs, conspiracy, gang participation and two firearms charges. As part of an agreement worked out by prosecutor Ed Lustig and defense attorney Kristin Kadar, Dougherty was sentenced to 19 years with 13 years suspended.

According to the evidence, Stafford Detective Josh Scott and others were working undercover in the parking lot of the Days Inn off Warrenton Road in southern Stafford on Oct. 9, 2018. The case they were working on had nothing to do with any of the five people eventually arrested, including Dougherty.

Lustig said Scott was first approached by codefendant Rachel Figueroa of Stafford, who asked “Are you looking for something?” She returned a few minutes later with Voshon O. Carpenter of Spotsylvania.

Carpenter allegedly asked Scott if he wanted some “white” or “brown,” street terms referring to cocaine and heroin. Scott walked with Carpenter to a nearby truck, where he informed him he was law enforcement and, along with other detectives, took Carpenter and Figueroa into custody.

After learning about alleged activity going on in one of the motel rooms, Detective R. Mervil knocked on a door and was quickly pulled inside by Dougherty, who explained that it was “hot outside,” meaning police were in the area. Mervil announced his profession after seeing cocaine being weighed on a scale in plain view and took Dougherty into custody.

Berry Peiton and Shamara Caldwell were also arrested as part of that investigation. Peiton, Caldwell, Figueroa and Carpenter all have trials scheduled this month or next month in Stafford Circuit Court.

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

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