A woman who set in motion a series of arrests last year when she mistook an undercover detective for a drug user pleaded guilty to a single charge Wednesday in Stafford County Circuit Court.

Rachel Figueroa, 30, of Stafford was convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin. In exchange for her plea, three other charges were dropped.

Figueroa will be sentenced Dec. 19.

According to the evidence, Stafford Sheriff’s 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 of last year. Figueroa walked up to Scott and asked him, “Are you looking for something?”

She returned a short time later with codefendant Voshon O. Carpenter of Spotsylvania County, who asked Scott if he wanted “white” or “brown,” street terms for cocaine and heroin.

Scott indicated that he wanted heroin, and was taken to a truck where Figueroa was holding the drug.

Detectives took Carpenter and Figueroa into custody there, and three codefendants were arrested after police found drug and prostitution activities in two motel rooms. Detective R. Mervil was pulled into one of the rooms by a codefendant, who warned the undercover detective that police were in the area.

None of those arrested were targets of the operation detectives were there for that night. Officers were at the motel looking for an unrelated wanted suspect.

Carpenter has already been convicted for his role in the operation and has a sentencing pending. Jacob Dougherty, 23, of Rochester, N.Y., is already serving a six-year sentence.

Trials are scheduled later this month for two other defendants.

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404


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