Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former MacDill contract worker accused of having weapons stash at base

TAMPA — When Tampa police arrested military contractor Scott Allan Bennett last year on a charge of driving under the influence, he gave them his home address inside MacDill Air Force Base.

It's a home address that Air Force police say he lied to obtain and then used to store unregistered weapons.

Bennett, now 40 and living near Washington, D.C., was arrested Wednesday on federal charges, according to his attorney, David Chalela. He will appear Friday in U.S. District Court in Tampa.

"It was a failure to follow policy and procedures," said Master Sgt. Bryan Gatewood, a MacDill spokesman. "It was not a security breach."

It all started early on April 23, according to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court. Bennett was stopped for a random vehicle check at the base's Dale Mabry gates. Gate officers found two knives and an empty gun holster, according to an affidavit filed last month.

Tampa police were called in to deal with Bennett, who "appeared dazed and confused during the inspection," the affidavit said. Bennett refused a blood alcohol test and was charged with driving under the influence.

During the arrest search, police found Bennett was carrying a loaded, concealed handgun, the affidavit said. Carrying concealed weapons is prohibited on the base.

They found more weapons inside his car: another loaded handgun, three knives, a box of throwing stars, a machete, a collapsible baton, a slingshot with BBs and Mace.

Bennett was released from jail after posting a $500 bond that day. When he returned to the base that afternoon, he was taken into custody by Air Force police.

Using a search warrant, Air Force police discovered seven loaded guns, 9,389 rounds of ammunition, knives, brass knuckles, a stun gun, a collapsible baton and other weapons inside Bennett's on-base residence, the affidavit said — none of them registered with the base armory as required.

During the investigation, Air Force police learned Bennett had lied last January to obtain on-base housing, which the affidavit said is only available to active-duty military personnel stationed within 25 miles of MacDill.

Bennett's job at Booz Allen Hamilton, a McLean, Va., strategy and technology consulting firm, provided credentials to enter the base. But it wasn't enough, the affidavit said, for him to live at MacDill.

Bennett is an Army Reservist but had not been on active duty, the affidavit said. He claimed to be on orders from U.S. Central Command, which is headquartered at MacDill, but the affidavit said he never showed paperwork to confirm active-duty status.

Chalela, the defense attorney, said Bennett sought on-base housing without knowing the restrictions and didn't get around to filing the right forms for his guns.

"They're making a federal case out of an administrative error," he said.

Bennett has been charged with making a false statement on a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the U.S. government and violating a defense property security regulation. The charges carry a maximum sentence of five years, U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Amy Filjones said.

Clark Realty, a private company that manages housing at MacDill, referred questions to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Representatives of MacDill and the U.S. Attorney's Office would not comment on specifics of the case because of the ongoing investigation.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this story. Stephanie Wang can be reached at swang@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2443.

Former MacDill contract worker accused of having weapons stash at base 01/07/11 [Last modified: Friday, January 7, 2011 10:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory dies at 84

    Nation

    The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

    Dick Gregory, a comedian, activist and author, died Saturday. [Tribune News Service, 2011]
  2. Winter Haven police investigating armed robbery at Dollar General

    Crime

    WINTER HAVEN — Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday night of a Dollar General store on W Lake Ruby Drive.

  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  5. 'Free speech rally' cut short after massive counterprotest

    Nation

    BOSTON — Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday on downtown Boston in a boisterous repudiation of white nationalism, dwarfing a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned "free speech rally" a week after a gathering of hate groups led to bloodshed in Virginia.

    Thousands of people march against a “free speech rally” planned Saturday in Boston. About 40,000 people were in attendance.