01/17/2019
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GREENVILLE — James Spencer Bell of Lumberton was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Crolina Robert J. Higdon Jr. announced in a news release.

Bell, 29, plead guilty on Dec. 7, 2017 and was sentenced to 241 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard.

Bell was charged in a seven-count indictment filed Aug. 16, 2017.

On May 20, 2016, Bell was engaged in a sale of a quarter ounce of cocaine base (crack) when a violent altercation ensued with the purchaser, Higdon said. Bell admitted to shooting the man twice in self-defense, before fleeing the crime scene. The victim subsequently died from his wounds.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said that Bell provided law enforcement investigators with detailed confessions of the shooting and of his dealings in selling crack. He was found to be accountable for selling 552.63 grams of crack from 2013 to February 10, 2017.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

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