Beaumont felon who accepted gun earns years in jail

Published 12:07 am Friday, February 21, 2020

BEAUMONT — A 27-year-old Beaumont man was sentenced to almost six years in jail for his role possessing a firearm that police said was involved in an area homicide.

Bernard James Bell pleaded guilty July 23 to being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced Wednesday to 71 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown said information presented in court indicates law enforcement began investigating a homicide in April that occurred in Beaumont’s west end.

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On Apr. 14, investigators learned Bell was provided a firearm that was used in connection with that homicide so he could dispose of it or hide it.

After speaking with Bell, investigators recovered the firearm and determined Bell possessed it. Further investigation revealed Bell is a convicted felon, having several convictions in Jefferson County in 2011 and 2012.

As a convicted felon, Bell is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.

Bell was indicted on those charges by a federal grand jury May 1.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Beaumont Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell James.