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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Anoka Man Pleads Guilty To Being A Career Criminal In Possession Of A Firearm

MINNEAPOLIS—Yesterday in federal court, a 26-year-old Anoka felon pleaded guilty to possessing a .40-caliber, semi-automatic pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun. Jesse Ray Bennett specifically pleaded to one count of being a career criminal in possession of a firearm. Bennett, who was indicted on June 5, 2012, entered his plea before United States District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery.

In his plea agreement, Bennett admitted that sometime after 2:00 a.m. on November 11, 2011, neighbors complained to police about the noise he and his friends were making. Angry with the neighbors, he retrieved the two firearms from the bedroom of his residence after the police left the premises. He ultimately fled the scene, throwing the guns in a nearby back yard. Authorities recovered them a short time later.

Because he is a felon, Bennett is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. His prior convictions include aggravated robbery in the first degree (2003), assault in the second degree (2003), burglary in the first degree (2006), and felon in possession of a firearm (2006). All of them occurred in Hennepin County. In addition, he was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm (2005) in Anoka County.

Since those three offenses constitute crimes of violence, sentencing in the current federal case will be subject to the federal Armed Career Criminal Act. That act mandates a minimum of 15 years in prison for anyone convicted in federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Judge Montgomery will determine Bennett’s actual sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Anoka Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen A. Slaughter.

Note, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (“PSN”), an initiative launched by the
U.S. Justice Department in 2001 to promote a multi-jurisdictional, comprehensive approach to
reducing gun crime in America. PSN provides resources to strengthen law enforcement and
crime prevention partnerships that work to make our communities safer.



Updated April 30, 2015