Smithfield Man Convicted of Distributing Fentanyl Analogue That Led to Death – Faces Minimum of 20 Years in Prison
WILMINGTON, N.C. – Aaron Bell, 25, of New Hanover County, was sentenced on January 6, 2021, to 48 months imprisonment for: (1) Distribution of a quantity of heroin; and (2) possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The evidence presented in court and other information revealed that on August 8, 2019, the Wilmington Police Department conducted a controlled purchase of heroin from Bell in the area of Voltaire Place. On May 15, 2020, Bell was arrested on an outstanding warrant for pending state court charges. At the time of that arrest he was found in possession of a loaded handgun. Bell informed officers that he had the handgun because he was concerned that he was a target and going to be shot by a rival group. Bell was a felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm at the time of his arrest. The investigation further revealed that between October 2018 and August 2019, Bell distributed more than 65 grams of heroin. According to law enforcement, Bell was also a member of a violent gang.
Robert J. Higdon, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after the sentencing before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Wilmington Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Severo prosecuted the case.
Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 7:20-cr-00104-M-1.