Hartford Man Pleads Guilty to Gun Possession and Drug Distribution Charges
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that GLADSTONE BENJAMIN, JR., 29, of Hartford, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley to drug distribution and firearm possession offenses.
Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the court proceeding occurred via videoconference.
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.
Benjamin pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin and marijuana, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. Judge Dooley scheduled sentencing for May 3, 2021.
Benjamin is released on a $75,000 bond pending sentencing.
This investigation is being 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 is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson.
This prosecution has been brought through Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.