Man sentenced to years in prison after I-91 traffic stop arrest

A Hampden County Jury found James Bennett guilty on a 2nd offense firearm charge. He has been...
A Hampden County Jury found James Bennett guilty on a 2nd offense firearm charge. He has been sentenced to 6-7 years in prison.(Hampden County District Attorney's Office)
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 1:26 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - A Hampden County Jury has found a man guilty on a 2nd offense firearm charge and now he faces 6 to 7 years in prison.

James Bennett was pulled over on I-91 in Springfield back in May of 2018 by Massachusetts State Police.

According to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, his vehicle was “smoking from under the hood” which is why he was initially pulled over.

During the traffic stop he was unable to produce registration for the vehicle he was driving and according to the DA’s Office he didn’t have a valid driver license either.

“Being concerned that Bennett was actively trying to conceal something in the car, based on Bennett’s movements and actions, the trooper called for back-up,” said James Leydon, spokesperson for Hampden DA, Anthony Gulluni.

Once additional troopers arrived, they searched the car and we’re told they found a loaded Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun in the center console.

That’s when Bennett was placed under arrest and charged with Carrying a Firearm Without a License, Second Offense.

Now several years later after being found guilty by a Jury on April 13th, he has been sentenced to 6 to 7 years in prison.

“We will work hard to enforce the law against repeat gun offenders. I thank Assistant District Attorney Anna Lusardi, who is a member my office’s Drug and Gun Unit, for her hard work in securing this conviction,” noted Hampden District Attorney, Gulluni.

Bennett was sentenced on April 14th.