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WJBD - Local News - Grandson of Former Marion County Sheriff Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison

Grandson of Former Marion County Sheriff Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The grandson of retired Marion County Sheriff Gerald Benjamin has been sentenced to seven years in prison in Jefferson County Court for possession of a firearm stolen from the former sheriff's home in September. Nathaniel Benjamin of Dix also received three year prison terms to run concurrently on two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Benjamin was arrested in a traffic stop that followed a meeting where he attempted to sell ten of the guns and ammunition taken from his grandfather's house to a man who turned out to be a confidential police source. The drug charges were related to a 'one pot' meth lab found in his vehicle. Two counts of armed violence and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon were dropped as part of the plea.

In addition to the ten guns recovered in Benjamin's car, an 11th gun was later recovered at his home.

Nathaniel Benjamin still has a residential burglary and an unrelated unlawful possession of a debit card pending in Marion County Court. Both are currently set on the January 22nd jury docket.

Benjamin earlier outlined how the burglary at his grandfather's home occurred when testifying during the trial of co-defendant Jerry Courtney of Centralia. The jury returned guilty verdicts against Courtney for residential burglary, two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, and a Class X charge of aggravated possession of 11 to 20 stolen firearms.

State's Attorney Matt Wilzbach says Courtney faces a six to 30 year prison term on the Class 'X' felony and smaller amounts of prison time on the other counts when sentenced Friday.

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