A Ventnor man pleaded guilty today in a case that began with a drug transaction at Atlantic City's Walk.

Marianinto Ruiz, 36, admitted to possession with intent to distribute Percocet pills and faces five years in prison when he is sentenced in March.

Ruiz was arrested by the Atlantic City Task Force on April 13, after he was seen selling drugs to a person on the street from his car to a person on Atlantic Avenue near the McDonald's, Deputy Attorney General Jim Ruberton said.

Ruiz consented to a search, and 36 pills were found in a cigarette box. Money from the transaction -- $10 -- was also taken.

Ruiz must served at least 30 months in prison under the plea deal reached with Assistant Prosecutor Erik Bergman, who represented the state.

Bergman is a special Deputy Attorney General working with the Task Force, which also includes members from State Police, Atlantic City Police Department and the Division of Criminal, along with the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office and the Attorney General's Office.

Ruiz also pleaded guilty to an unrelated drug possession charge. He faces a concurrent three-year sentence on that charge.

"The Task Force is here to make sure these kinds of crimes are prosecuted," Ruberton said. "It's our goal to keep the city safe. Putting this defendant in jail for five years will help do that. We want to make sure Atlantic City's going to be considered a safe place to go."

Anyone with information about drug or gun activity in the city is urged to call the Task Force at 609-441-3816. Information may also be called in anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or texted to tip411 (847411) beginning the text with ACPD