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Hartford Man Sentenced to 42 Months in Prison for Gun Possession and Drug Distribution Offenses

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that GLADSTONE BENJAMIN, JR., 30, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to 42 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for drug distribution and firearm possession offenses.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in April 2019, Hartford Police made two controlled purchases of marijuana from Benjamin at his Collins Street residence.  On April 23, 2019, investigators conducted a court-authorized search of Gladstone’s residence and found a loaded Taurus 9mm handgun with an extended clip; two loaded Taurus .45 caliber handguns; a loaded semiautomatic handgun that did not contain a make, model or serial number stamp; a Remington Arms 12 gauge shotgun with an unreadable serial number; more than 1,000 rounds of loose and boxed ammunition, and distribution quantities of heroin and marijuana.

Benjamin’s criminal history includes state felony convictions for firearm and drug offenses.  It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

On February 8, 2021, Benjamin pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

On February 26, 2021, Benjamin, who was released on bond, was arrested by Hartford Police after they found him in a car with two firearms.  He has been detained since his arrest, and his state charges are pending.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force and the Hartford Police Department.  The FBI Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, New Britain Police Department, West Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anastasia E. King and Konstantin Lantsman.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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