Career criminal sentenced to 15 years in federal prison

A career criminal guilty of possessing firearms will be incarcerated for the next 15 years.

Jesse Ray Bennett
Jesse Ray Bennett

Jesse Ray Bennett of Anoka has been sentenced in U.S. District Court to 180 months in federal prison.

Bennett, who was indicted June 5, entered a guilty plea Aug. 2 to a felony charge of possessing a .40 caliber, semi-automatic pistol and a 12-gauge shotgun.

Under federal law convicted felons are not allowed to possess firearms at any time.

Bennett’s criminal history includes a 2003 conviction for aggravated robbery in the first degree, followed by convictions for assault in the second degree in 2003 and burglary in the first degree in 2006. He was also convicted in Anoka County being a felon in possession of a firearm in 2005 and the same offense in Hennepin County in 2006.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Bennett admitted that sometime after 2 a.m. on Nov. 11, 2011 neighbors complained about the noise he and his friend were making.

After police left his home, angry with the neighbors he retrieved the two guns from the bedroom of his home. He ultimately fled the scene, throwing the guns in a nearby backyard where they were recovered by police a short time later.

The federal firearms charge followed an investigation by the Anoka Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Bennett was given the minimum sentence of 15 years for anyone who has at least three prior state or federal convictions for crimes of violence or serious drug crimes.

Bennett is also scheduled to stand trial Dec. 10 in Anoka County District Court on second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault charges. These are in connection with a Nov. 11, 2011 shooting in which a man was injured.

Bennett has been accused of shooting an acquaintance after a day of drinking at various bars in Anoka and Coon Rapids.

After returning to a home on Benton Street in Anoka, the victim alleged that he and Bennett were wrestling, Bennett got angry and violent and at one point produced a semi-automatic handgun, put it to the victim’s head and fired.

According to medical personnel, the bullet glanced off the victim’s skull and lacerated the skin, requiring staples to repair.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]

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