JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 31-year old Jacksonville man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for multiple offenses.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan sentenced Christopher Loran Bentley to 10 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for possessing a pistol after being convicted of a felony, and for possessing with intent to distribute crack cocaine and heroin.
Bentley pleaded guilty to the offenses Oct. 19.
According to court documents, Bentley possessed a stolen firearm outside a house in Jacksonville in April. Bentley had previously been convicted of selling cocaine.
After Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office patrol officers responded to investigate activities at the house, the officers ordered Bentley out of his truck after noticing he had marijuana in plain view.
Bentley tried to escape, but while being removed from the truck, a bag of drugs that included powder cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin fell from his lap to the ground.
The firearm was located in the driver’s seat where Bentley was sitting.
At sentencing, multiple witnesses in testimony accused Bentley of pimping women in the Philips Highway area of Jacksonville for years. Bentley allegedly controlled his sex trafficking victims through violence, threats of violence, coercion and manipulation.
According to testimony, Bentley on one occasion threatened to bash one of his victims’ teeth using a gun, broke his hand punching the victim in the head, and then forced his victim to pull down her pants so that he could beat her with a pipe.
Other testimony accused Bentley of using victims’ drug addictions to force them into prostitution and firing a gun at another individual who had been trying to collect a debt from one of the women prostituted by Bentley.
Prosecutors said one of Bentley’s victims died of an overdose in 2016 after obtaining fentanyl and cocaine from him.