For Immediate Release
Riverdale Felon Exiled to 40 Years in Prison for Gun and Drug Offenses
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel sentenced Quintin A. Bell, age 51, of Riverdale, Maryland, today to 40 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute heroin and crack cocaine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and for being a felon in possession of a firearm. A jury convicted Bell of those charges on November 18, 2015.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Frank Riehl of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; and Chief Henry P. Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
According to evidence presented at his five day trial, on April 10, 2014, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Bell’s residence. They located Bell in the basement of the home, along with over 100 grams of heroin and drug paraphernalia, including cutting agents, scales, grinders, empty pill capsules, a pill capsule filler, and small ziplock baggies. Also found in the basement was a Ruger Mini magazine loaded with 13 rounds of 7.62x39mm ammunition and a box containing nine additional rounds of ammunition.
Witnesses testified that Bell was brought in to the living room of the home where he told officers that there was a gun under a couch in that room. Law enforcement officers looked under the couch and located a black gun case containing a Ruger Mini-14 .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle, which was compatible with the magazine located in the basement. Bell told the officers that a friend had given him the gun after someone tried to rob the residence. Officers also seized: over $12,000 in cash; jewelry; a magazine for a .40 caliber handgun; 4.5 grams of heroin; and six rounds of 9mm ammunition.
According to testimony at trial, five months later, officers executed another search warrant at the home and found more heroin in the basement, more drug paraphernalia, and crack cocaine. Five days before the second search, Bell was arrested in Washington, D.C., after he was found behind the wheel of his car with a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun. The gun was tucked next to Bell’s seat, between Bell and the center console. In the center console law enforcement recovered three baggies each of heroin and crack cocaine, as well as a small baggie of marijuana, all packaged for distribution. From Bell’s front left pants pocket, officers seized $1,054. Bell made a videotaped statement to the Metropolitan Police Department officers after his arrest, which was played at trial, in which he admitted to having been out "hustling," trying to buy cocaine and two "Rugers," so that he would have a firearm for his exclusive use.
Bell had several previous felony convictions, including violent crimes committed in both Maryland and Washington, D.C., and was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF and Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Michael T. Packard and Daniel C. Gardner, who prosecuted the case.