News and Press Releases

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May 21, 2012

WILMINGTON - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court on May 17, 2012, Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox sentenced GEORGE BELL, JR., 41, to 36 months imprisonment followed by three years supervised release. 

     A Federal Grand Jury returned an Indictment on June 7, 2011, charging conspiring to launder monetary instruments, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h).  On September 6, 2011, BELL pled guilty to the charge.

Special Agent in Charge Jeannine A. Hammett from the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) stated “Mr. Bell was obviously motivated by greed. IRS-CI is resolute in our quest to financially disrupt those who would profit from their criminal activities.”

Through the investigation it was learned that BELL, an employee and the son of the owner of Farm and Ranch Auto Sales, sold vehicles to Roland Ware and two brothers, Eric Davorne Baerga and Ivan Mlik Baerga, placing the vehicle titles in the names of others.  These vehicles were purchased with illegal funds.  BELL  allowed falsified information to be presented to the financial institutions to secure the loans for the vehicles. 

The investigation also revealed that BELL sold automobiles to Donald Shealey, the leader of a violent drug organization, Face Mob Family, who was responsible for the distribution of powder and crack cocaine and heroin throughout the southeast.  Shealey was convicted to life imprisonment in 2009 for the drug conspiracy.

Ware and both Baerga brothers were charged in the scheme and were sentenced in 2008.    

This case is part of Operation Face Off, an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCEDTF) investigation that involves bank fraud through the straw purchase of vehicles.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Assistant United States Attorney Denise Walker prosecuted the case.






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