Baltimore Felon Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison after Pleading Guilty to Illegal Possession of a Firearm
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Antoine Benjamin, age 26, of Baltimore, today to 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The sentence and guilty plea were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Special Agent in Charge Rob Cekada of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle, of the Baltimore Police Department; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby; and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.
According to his plea agreement, on October 23, 2016, a Baltimore Police officer in the 2700 block of Edmondson Avenue saw Benjamin engaging in behavior which made the officer believe he might be engaged in criminal activity. The officer approached Benjamin, who ran away. The officer, assisted by other Baltimore Police officers, pursued Benjamin for several blocks. During the pursuit, the officers saw Benjamin reaching into the front of his pants, as if to retrieve an item. Benjamin ran through a back alley and turned back toward Edmondson Avenue, where he was eventually apprehended by officers. Benjamin was detained on the ground and during a pat down, an officer felt what he believed to be a handgun. The officer recovered a semi-automatic .380-caliber handgun with an obliterated serial number, and seven rounds in the magazine and one round in the chamber.
Benjamin had several previous felony convictions and was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the ATF, the FBI, the Baltimore Police Department, the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, and the Maryland Attorney General’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael C. Hanlon and Joan C. Mathias, who prosecuted the case.