Convicted felon sentenced to federal prison for possessing firearms

Ocala man sentenced to 12 years


OCALA, Fla. – Benjamin Townsel, a 23-year-old Ocala man, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, according to a release from the Middle District of Florida.

Townsel pleaded guilty on Feb. 17.

According to the report, on three different occasions, Townsel was found to be in possession of a firearm after the vehicles he was a passenger in were pulled over by the Ocala Police Department.

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Townsel is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law stemming from his four prior state felony convictions, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The Ocala Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI investigated the case and it was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tyrie K. Boyer.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods which is “a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.”

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About the Author:

Jacob joined in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.