Career Criminal Sentenced For Possessing A Firearm
MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court in Duluth, a 23-year-old career criminal was sentenced for possessing a nine-millimeter pistol. United States District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle sentenced Corey James Benjamin, no known address, to 180 months in federal prison on one count of possession of a firearm by a career criminal. Benjamin was indicted on September 12, 2011, and pleaded guilty on October 21, 2011.
In his plea agreement, Benjamin admitted that on July 24, 2011, he possessed the gun while on the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation. Because he is a felon, Benjamin is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time. His prior convictions—all in Mille Lacs County—included third-degree burglary (2009), second-degree assault (2005), and fifth-degree felony assault (2008). Since those offenses constitute crimes of violence, sentencing in the current federal case was 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 if that person also has at least three prior state or federal convictions for crimes of violence or serious drug crimes.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Mille Lacs Tribal Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and was part of the investigation into the Native Mob. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Winter.