Crime & Courts

Former Crystal Lake man pleads guilty to heroin delivery charge

Paul Benzinger, 30, formerly of Crystal Lake
Paul Benzinger, 30, formerly of Crystal Lake

A man who was arrested months after being released from prison was sentenced to another 4½ years Monday after pleading guilty to a heroin possession charge.

Paul Benzinger, 30, formerly of Crystal Lake, pleaded guilty Monday to possessing 3.6 grams of heroin during a traffic stop in May 2017. The arrest happened about four months after Benzinger’s release from prison on separate charges.

In July 2016, he received an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to one count of delivery of a controlled substance.

Judge Sharon Prather signed an order recommending he be admitted to the impact incarceration boot camp program, and he was released on parole Jan. 10, 2017.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office learned shortly after that Benzinger was selling heroin again and making frequent trips to Chicago to buy large quantities of the drug to sell in McHenry County, according to court documents.

When officers stopped Benzinger on May 1, 2017, they found him in possession of 3.6 grams of heroin packaged for sale in 36 bags, according to a news release.

In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed additional charges against Benzinger, including possession of a controlled substance, according to McHenry County public records.

The case was investigated by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Robert Ladd of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office.

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