For Immediate Release
Miami-Dade Resident Convicted for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm After Shooting A Man Outside A Miami Gardens’ Convenience Store
Following a three-day jury trial, a Miami-Dade resident pled guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm after shooting a man in front of a convenience store in Miami Gardens.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade State Attorney, Peter Forcelli, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Division, and Cynthia Dawson Machanic, Acting Chief, Miami Gardens Police Department, made the announcement.
James Benjamin Bell, 52, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Bell faces a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years in prison if determined to be an armed career criminal. Sentencing is scheduled for April 20, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham.
According to the court record, including evidence presented during the trial, on May 31, 2016, Bell argued with another man outside of a Miami Gardens convenience store before shooting him in the face. A bystander called 911 and provided a description of the shooter and the getaway car. Police officers quickly found the car and Bell exited the passenger side of the vehicle wearing clothing that matched the description of the shooter. Bell’s girlfriend was the driver. Officers located a firearm in Bell’s girlfriend’s purse. A ballistics test linked the firearm found in Bell’s girlfriend’s purse to the casing left on scene. At the time of the shooting, Bell was a convicted felon who was prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Mr. Ferrer thanked the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office for their assistance. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ATF and the Miami Gardens Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Marianne Curtis from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and Assistant U.S. Attorney Breezye Telfair.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.