DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Florida

For Immediate Release

Friday, April 21, 2017
Benjamin G. Greenberg
, United States Attorney
Contact: Sarah J. Schall

Miami-Dade Resident Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm After Shooting a Man in Miami Gardens

A Miami-Dade resident was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, after he shot a man in front of a convenience store in Miami Gardens.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting 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, previously pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Graham sentenced Bell to 264 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.
According to the court record, including evidence presented during the defendant’s trial, prior to his guilty plea, 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. Greenberg thanked the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office for their assistance.  Mr. Greenberg 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’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

Miami Field Division