U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Alaska
(907) 271-5071
August 19, 2015

Juneau Resident Sentenced to 15 Years for Drug Trafficking and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime

ANCHORAGE, AK—U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a former Juneau resident was sentenced to 180 months of imprisonment for drug trafficking and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

William Byron Benedict, 46, a resident of Juneau, Alaska, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess in Anchorage to 180 months of imprisonment followed by a five year term of supervised release. On April 6, 2015, Benedict pled guilty to one count of drug trafficking conspiracy and one count of being in possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt, who prosecuted the case, on June 2, 2013, Benedict was contacted by DEA agents at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport while attempting to board a flight to Juneau, Alaska. The agents seized 64.9 grams of actual methamphetamine and 336.8 grams of heroin from Benedict. On April 22, 2014, law enforcement executed an arrest warrant at Benedict’s residence in Juneau and subsequently discovered multiple loaded firearms and eight grams of actual methamphetamine and 155.4 grams of heroin. Law enforcement also seized $12,272 in U.S. currency that was obtained from the sale of narcotics, which Benedict was required to forfeit as part of his plea, along with the firearms seized at his residence.

In sentencing Benedict, Judge Burgess noted the seriousness of the crime, the defendant’s extensive criminal history, deterrence of the defendant and others, and a need to protect the public as the reasons for the sentence he imposed.

Ms. Loeffler commended the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Port of Seattle Police Department, and Juneau Police Department—Metro Drug Unit who conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution in this case.

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