U.S. Department of Justice
Commerce St., 3rd Fl.
Telephone (214) 659-8600
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
OCTOBER 13, 2006
OPERATION “FISH BOWL” DEFENDANT
U.S. Attorney Roper said, “This office is committed to helping make Fort Worth a safer city by ridding its neighborhoods of gangs, gang violence and the scourge of drugs. I applaud Judge McBryde’s tough sentence today.”
Bell sold crack cocaine in the “Fish Bowl” section of Fort Worth. From time to time, Bell would use other persons to deliver the crack cocaine to customers on the street in the “Fish Bowl.” Among the persons Bell used to deliver crack to the customers were Michael Holt, also known as “O.G. Mike”, Lawrence Carey, also known as “Winkey”, and Krystal Simpson. Bell, who had a supplier for the cocaine, would provide product to the street sellers to deliver to their customers. During the execution of the conspiracy, Bertrand Bell and the other conspirators sold crack cocaine to an undercover Fort Worth, Texas, police officer.
On the morning of August 31, 2005, the officer called Bell on his cell phone and asked to buy $300 worth of crack cocaine. Bell told the officer to meet “O.G. Mike,” Michael Holt, at the corner of Talton Street and Belzise Terrace in Fort Worth. Approximately one hour later, the officer drove to that location where he was approached by Michael Wayne Holt, who got into the officer’s vehicle and handed the officer a clear plastic baggie containing several off-white rocks of what the officer recognized as crack cocaine.
The officer submitted the crack cocaine received from the defendant Bertrand Bell and Michael Holt to the Fort Worth Police Department Crime Laboratory in Fort Worth where analysis proved that the substance was 10.78 grams of material containing cocaine base, that is, crack cocaine.
On September 6, 2005, the undercover officer returned to the corner of Talton Street and Belzise Terrace. Bell got into the passenger side of the officer’s car and asked what the officer needed. The officer replied “200," street slang for $200 worth of crack cocaine. Bell told the officer to drop him off at a nearby residence and then drive around the block. After circling the block twice, the officer saw Bell and stopped. Bell approached the vehicle and handed the officer two plastic baggies containing off-white rocks of what the officer recognized as crack cocaine. Analysis of this substance proved that it was 7.18 grams of material containing cocaine base, that is, crack cocaine.
On September 26, 2005, the undercover officer contacted Lawrence Carey, also known as “Winkey” by cell phone to purchase crack from Bertrand Bell. Carey asked what he wanted and the officer replied “300 hard,” street slang for $300 worth of crack cocaine. Carey told the officer that he would have Bell contact him to arrange a meeting. About an hour later, Bell called the officer and arranged a meeting on Mansfield Highway. As arranged, the officer went to the designated parking lot, where the officer observed “Winkey” and Bell arrive. “Winkey” parked their vehicle next to the officer’s and Bell got into the officer’s vehicle and delivered a quantity of crack cocaine to the officer. “Winkey” remained in his vehicle and acted as a look-out during the transaction. The officer paid Bell $300, who then returned to “Winkey’s” vehicle. The officer spoke to “Winkey” who told the officer to “holler whenever you need something.”
Bell is the first defendant in the “Fish Bowl” operation to be sentenced. Most of the other defendants that were indicted also have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Roper praised the excellent cooperative investigative work of the Fort Worth Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation gang unit. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Worley.