PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a to a violation of federal firearms laws brought in connection with a large-scale investigation conducted by the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
David Benson, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, before United States District Judge William S. Stickman, IV. Mr. Benson is one of 40 defendants charged in the Indictment and Superseding Indictment returned in the case.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on June 20, 2019, agents of the Greater Pittsburgh Safe Streets Task Force executed a search warrant at the residence that Benson shared with his girlfriend and codefendant, Raelynn Stevenson, as well as a warrant for Stevenson’s arrest. Agents seized a Glock firearm and a loaded magazine under the defendants’ bed. Benson, who has two prior felony convictions, admitted that he brought the gun into the apartment and placed it under the mattress, as well as acknowledged that he was not lawfully permitted to possess a firearm.
Judge Stickman scheduled sentencing July 8, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Benson was permitted to remain on bond pending the sentencing hearing.
Assistant United States Attorneys Carolyn J. Bloch and Brendan J. McKenna are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the multi-agency investigation of this case, which also included the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Allegheny County Adult Probation, Allegheny County Police Department, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office Bureau of Narcotics, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Wilkinsburg Police Department. Other assisting agencies include the Green Tree Police Department, New York City Police Department, Mount Oliver Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Yonkers Police Department, United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
This prosecution is a result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, moneylaunderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten communities throughout the United States. OCDETF uses a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
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