Benjamin Sentenced in Erie Pot Case - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Benjamin Sentenced in Erie Pot Case

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Fans say he had the skills to make it in the NFL, but for the next 4 to 8 years, Roosevelt Benjamin will only be listed on a prison roster.

Benjamin, 37, received that sentence on Thursday in Erie County Court, along with 10 years of supervision, 500 hours of community service, and a $30,000 fine for being involved in what police called one of the largest marijuana shipments they had ever seen locally-  some 449 pounds seized, worth $1.3 million dollars.

He plead guilty to reduced charges in lieu of going to trial.

In court, he apologized to his "family, the community, and the kids who looked up to me," Benjamin said. "I just want to get back to the community and show kids that I took the wrong path," he said.

Both Benjamin's defense attorney and the attorney general's office were satisfied with the sentence.

"Four years is still a long time, but my client knew that was going to come with the territory of his plea. And he really is committed to coming back and making a positive impact on the community. He's very sincere about that," said David Ridge, defense attorney.

"Hopefully he means what he says, he's going to be under supervision for a long period of time," said Douglas Wright, senior deputy attorney general. "We genuinely felt this was a fair resolution because had we put everybody through a trial, we may have gotten another year, but that's about it."

Benjamin was a star football player at Central and Clarion University, and later played for a number of arena league football teams in the area.

Those who know the sport say that Benjamin had the size and speed to play linebacker in the NFL but was often in trouble with the law and was once shot.

The sentence is mandatory due to the amount of the drug involved.

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