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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Minnesota

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 21, 2011

B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney

Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney, Director of Community Relations
(612) 664-5611

Minneapolis Man Indicted for Possessing .40–Caliber Handgun, Drugs

MINNEAPOLIS — Earlier today in federal court, a 37–year–old felon was indicted for allegedly possessing a .40–caliber handgun as well as cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana. Lamarco Trease Bell, of Minneapolis, was charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

The indictment alleges that on December 7, 2011, Bell possessed the gun, along with three ounces of cocaine, one–half ounce of crack cocaine, and two pounds of marijuana. According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the case, authorities began investigating Bell in September of 2011. During the execution of a state search warrant, officers found the weapon in a locked bedroom in Bell’s residence. In addition, police discovered cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana, along with $3,000 in cash.

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.

If convicted in the current federal case, Bell faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the cocaine and crack cocaine charges, ten years for illegally possessing a firearm, and five years on the marijuana charge. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the United States 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.