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Lewis Bennett sentenced to 7 months in prison for coin-related federal charges

Posted at 8:38 AM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 11:34:59-05

The government has filed a second-degree murder criminal complaint against Lewis Bennett in connection with the 2017 disappearance of his wife, Isabella Hellmann.

He was sentenced Tuesday morning in a federal court in Miami to seven months in prison and three years of supervised release, if he's not deported, for transporting stolen coins.  

Bennett will have to report to immigration officials upon his release from jail. 

Bennett’s wife, Isabella Hellmann, vanished from Bennett's boat in the Florida Straits last May during a trip from St. Maarten to Key West. Bennett says he felt the boat hit something, and he was jolted out of bed around 1 a.m. When he looked for Isabella she was gone, he said.

The Coast Guard rescued Bennett from a life raft where he had put some of his belongings when he abandoned the boat.

The Coast Guard later located the life raft and took an inventory of its contents. Federal agents said there were tubes of coins in his life raft. The coins were stolen from a boat in St. Martin in 2016 and the FBI said Bennett was a member of the crew and was the one who was reporting the gold and silver coins stolen.