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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Carla B. Freedman, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, April 19, 2024

Auburn Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing a Firearm as a Convicted Felon

Jason P. Benedict Possessed and Transferred a 20-Gauge Shotgun to An Alleged Drug Dealer

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Jason P. Benedict, age 47, of Auburn, New York, pled guilty today in federal court in Syracuse to possessing a 20-gauge shotgun as a convicted felon, announced United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman, Bryan DiGirolamo, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and Frank A. Tarentino III, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division.

As part of his guilty plea today, Benedict admitted that on January 21, 2023, he possessed and then transferred a Hawk Industries 20-gauge shotgun to another person in Syracuse. The shotgun (as well as drugs, cash, and drug paraphernalia) was seized by ATF and DEA during the execution of a search warrant at the other person’s Syracuse residence in June 2023.[1] A search of telephone text messages revealed that Benedict previously possessed and delivered the shotgun to the other person on January 21, 2023. Jason Benedict admitted in court today that he knew he was previously convicted in 2011 in Onondaga County Court of Criminal Sex Act in the Second Degree, a felony for which he was sentenced to serve five years in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 23, 2024, in Syracuse, at which time Benedict faces a maximum sentence of 15-years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and a term of post-incarceration supervised release of up to 3 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

The United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Southwick is prosecuting the case.

[1] The other person is charged with federal firearms and drug felony offenses. His case is currently pending in federal court, and he is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.

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