Paroled 8-time felon had gun, meth, fentanyl, cocaine, pot, and heroin in a stolen car, prosecutors say

Neal Benjamin (Chicago Police Department)

CHICAGO — Prosecutors say a man on parole for his eighth felony was found driving a stolen car with two guns, meth, cocaine, fentanyl, pot, heroin, and more.

Chicago police officers pulled Neal Benjamin over in the 7700 block of North Paulina last weekend because they learned the car he was driving had been reported stolen, according to Benjamin’s arrest report.

Benjamin, 36, was “reluctant to respond” when the cops asked if he had a gun, the report said, so the officers asked him to step out of the 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage.

Under Benjamin’s seat, the cops allegedly found two phones sitting on top of a loaded firearm. Benjamin admitted he owned the two phones but denied having anything to do with the gun, officials said.

According to the arrest report, cops found $1,312 in a “large wad” in Benjamin’s pants pocket, along with 50 baggies of suspected rock cocaine.

A bookbag in the back seat contained 80 pills of suspected fentanyl, baggies of heroin, Xanax pills, crystal meth, cocaine, cannabis, and a bag containing a pink rock of “unknown narcotic,” the arrest report said.

Prosecutors filed complaints listing values for each of the alleged drugs: $440 worth of Xanax, $4,182 in pot, $1,980 worth of methamphetamine, $180 in heroin, $153 worth of fentanyl, and $1,225 worth of cocaine.

Benjamin is currently on parole for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon with a previous conviction. According to Illinois Department of Corrections records, he received a six-year sentence for that case and was released on September 25 after serving less than half of the time.

He is now charged with Class X armed habitual criminal, Class X armed violence, manufacture-delivery of cocaine, manufacture-delivery of fentanyl, manufacture-delivery of heroin, manufacture-delivery of cannabis, manufacture-delivery of another substance, manufacturing methamphetamine, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He’s also charged with misdemeanor driving on a revoked license.

Judge Charles Beach, noting Benjamin’s eight previous felony convictions, granted the state’s detention petition on public safety grounds.

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