ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Minnesota

www.justice.gov/usao/mn

For Immediate Release

May 10, 2012

B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney

Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney, Director of Community Relations
(612) 664-5611
jeanne.cooney@usdoj.gov

Minneapolis felon pleads guilty to possessing a .40-caliber handgun

MINNEAPOLIS – Earlier today in federal court in St. Paul, a 37-year-old felon pleaded guilty to possessing a .40-caliber handgun. Lamarco Trease Bell, of Minneapolis, pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Bell, who was indicted on December 20, 2011, entered his plea before United States District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle.

In his plea agreement, Bell admitted that on December 7, 2011, he possessed the gun. During the execution of a state search warrant, officers found the loaded weapon in a locked bedroom in Bell's residence. Bell was found holding the key. In addition, police discovered cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana, along with $3,000 in cash.

According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the case, authorities began investigating Bell in September of 2011. Because he is a felon, Bell is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms at any time. In 2001, he was convicted in the District of Wyoming for possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

For his crime, Bell faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in prison. Judge Kyle will determine his sentence at a future hearing.

This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Minneapolis Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey S. Paulsen.

Note, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), an initiative launched by the U.S. Justice Department in 2001 to promote a multi-jurisdictional, comprehensive approach to reducing gun crime in America. PSN provides resources to strengthen law enforcement and crime prevention partnerships that are working to make our streets and communities safer.

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