On Wednesday, a federal judge in Mobile handed down a two-and-half-year prison sentence to a man police found driving through Baldwin County with marijuana and a Molotov cocktail.
Christopher Nelson Beno, 53, was pulled over on Interstate 10 while traveling from Texas to Florida in November 2016. After Beno consented to a search of his vehicle, a Baldwin County Sheriff’s deputy officers found the Molotov cocktail.
A crude incendiary device typically made by putting flammable liquid into a glass bottle and using a strand of cloth as means of ignition, any type of Molotov cocktail is controlled federally and considered a “dangerous device” under the law.
Because he had previous felony convictions for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a short-barrel firearm and driving while intoxicated, Beno allegedly told the deputies he was under the impression a felon could legally possess that type of weapon.
Beno also told the officers he “experienced trouble in Texas” with a particular individual and was keeping the Molotov cocktail in his car for protection. On the bottle, was a handwritten message that read, “In case [sh**] happens, light, throw and break glass.”Beno was indicted federally for being a convicted felon in possession of the device, which he pleaded guilty in January.
This week, U.S. District Court Judge Callie V. S. Granade sentenced Beno to 30 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by a three-year-term of supervised release.
Beno will also undergo treatment for drug abuse while in prison and as a condition of his supervised release.
Though it’s unclear what became of the charges, Beno’s record with the Baldwin County Jail indicates he was also charged with possession of marijuana and of drug paraphernalia when he was arrested last year.