CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — On Monday, a Charleston man was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm during a foiled Fourth of July murder scheme in 2021.
According to court documents and statements, James Edward Bennett III, and three others armed themselves at a Rand home on July 4, 2021, and drove to Charleston’s West Side where they intended to murder a man.
Alerted to the plot, law enforcement parked marked cruisers on the West Side. The men allegedly left their vehicle in a Washington Street parking lot due to increased police presence.
Law enforcement performed a search in the vehicle and allegedly recovered four loaded firearms. Bennet admitted he possessed two of those firearms. Bennett is prohibited from possessing firearms because of prior felony convictions for first-degree robbery and voluntary manslaughter.
Investigating agencies in this case included the FBI, Charleston Police Department, Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, and Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team. U.S. Attorney Will Thompson thanked all agencies involved for their “quick response that averted a real potential for bloodshed.”