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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Connecticut

For Immediate Release

December 6, 2011

David Fein, United States Attorney

Contact: Tom Carson, Public Information Office
(203) 821-3722

Project Safe Neighborhoods

New Haven Man Sentenced to 62 Months in Federal Prison for Illegal Gun Possession

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JAMES BELL, 28, of New Haven, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 62 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on March 22, 2011, New Haven Police stopped a vehicle in which BELL was riding and recovered from the vehicle a loaded, .380 caliber semi–automatic pistol with an obliterated serial number.

Prior to March 2011, BELL had sustained multiple felony convictions. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

On August 18, 2011, BELL pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. He has been detained since his arrest on March 22, 2011.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the New Haven Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Vizcarrondo.

The Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, and improving the safety of residents of Connecticut’s cities. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.