Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2007                                                                 PHONE: (409) 839-2538
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                                               CELL: (409) 553-9881



BEAUMONT, TX – United States Attorney Matthew D. Orwig announced today that a 23-year-old Port Arthur man has been sentenced to 57 months in prison for federal drug and gun crimes in the Eastern District of Texas. 

JAMAAL AKEEM BENJAMIN was sentenced for being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of crack cocaine today by United States District Judge Thad Heartfield.  Judge Heartfield also ordered the forfeiture of the firearm.    

            According to information presented in court, on October 17, 2005, at approximately 3:30 a.m., the Port Arthur Police Department received a report of a suspicious person in the vicinity of an apartment complex on Williams Avenue, in violation of the post-Hurricane Rita curfew.  Officers observed Benjamin standing by a parked automobile, and appeared to be reaching into it.   As they made contact with him, the officers found Benjamin to be in possession of a loaded handgun and a small quantity of crack cocaine. 

Further investigation revealed that Benjamin had previously been convicted for possession of a controlled substance in Jefferson County in 2005.  This felony conviction prohibits Benjamin from owning or possessing any firearm or ammunition.   

On November 1, 2006, Benjamin was indicted for being a felon in possession of a firearm and for possession of crack cocaine.  On January 16, 2007, Benjamin pleaded guilty to the charges.  

        This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the City of Port Arthur Police Department, the Jefferson County Crime Laboratory and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, Forensic Laboratory, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randall L. Fluke.