Skip to main content
Press Release

Clinton Felon Sentenced to More Than Twenty Years in Federal Prison after Possessing Loaded Firearm and Then Assaulting Mount Vernon Police Officer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

An eight-time felon who possessed a loaded firearm, and then assaulted and injured a Mount Vernon police officer during a traffic stop on Highway 30 in February 2017, was sentenced today to more than 20 years in federal prison.


Erwin Keith “Duffy” Bell, age 36, from Clinton, Iowa, received the prison term after a June 14, 2017, guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  At the guilty plea, Bell admitted he possessed a .22 magnum caliber revolver after eight prior felony convictions in Iowa and Illinois for, among other things, possession of controlled substances with the intent to deliver, firearms trafficking, extortion, and burglary.


Evidence at the sentencing hearing showed that Bell was a passenger in a car travelling westbound on Highway 30 on February 4, 2017.  When a Mount Vernon police officer attempted to arrest Bell, Bell struck the officer and fled.  After a brief chase, Bell “squared off” with the officer and resisted arrest.  Bell grabbed the officer’s duty baton and hit the officer with it.  Bell also attempted to reach for the officer’s waistband during the struggle.  After law enforcement officers subdued Bell, they found a loaded firearm on the ground.  Bell later threatened to “beat” the arresting law enforcement officer, spat on another law enforcement officer, and was combative at a Cedar Rapids hospital.


Bell was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Linda R. Reade.  Bell was sentenced to 248 months’ imprisonment.  A special assessment of $100 was imposed, and he was ordered to make $400 in restitution the City of Mount Vernon, Iowa.  He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.


Bell is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.


The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tim Vavricek and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Mount Vernon Police Department, the Lisbon Police Department, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, the Mechanicsville Police Department, the Iowa State Patrol, the Clinton Police Department, the Davenport Police Department, the Eldridge Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.


Court file information at

The case file numbers are 17-mj-65 and 17-cr-27.


Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated December 22, 2017

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods