Minnesota Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Cocaine Trafficking
MADISON, Wis. – John G. McGarry, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Drug Enforcement Administration-Wisconsin, and U.S. Attorney Timothy M. O’Shea of the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Lashawn M. Bennett, 50, St. Paul, Minnesota, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 10 years in federal prison for possessing over 500 grams of cocaine with the intent to distribute.
This prison term will be followed by five years of supervised release. Bennett pleaded guilty to this charge on Jan. 11, 2022.
On March 17, 2021, a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper conducted a traffic stop for speeding on a vehicle driven by Bennett in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. After the trooper detected the odor of marijuana, the vehicle was searched. Officers found a large black bag containing three individually wrapped bricks of cocaine. The total weight of the cocaine was approximately 7.5 pounds.
When interviewed by officers, Bennett admitted to possessing and transporting three kilograms of cocaine with the intent to later distribute it.
At the time of this incident, Bennett was on state probation in Wisconsin for cocaine trafficking and in Minnesota for a prostitution offense. His probation in Wisconsin was revoked and he is currently serving a re-confinement sentence of nine years in state prison. Judge Peterson ordered this federal sentence to run concurrently with the state prison sentence.
In imposing sentence, Judge Peterson identified the quantity of cocaine involved and Bennett’s criminal history, which included both prior state and federal cocaine trafficking convictions, as highly aggravating factors. Judge Peterson noted Bennett exhibited a pattern of continuing to return to drug trafficking.
The charge against Bennett was the result of an investigation conducted by the Wisconsin State Patrol and the DEA. The Eau Claire County District Attorney’s Office also provided assistance in the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven P. Anderson prosecuted this case.