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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 12, 2019

Monroe resident pleads guilty to possessing two unregistered shotguns

MONROE, La. United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced that Nelson Bell Jr., 51, of Monroe, pleaded guilty Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty for possessing two unregistered shotguns.

According to the guilty plea, Monroe Police went to Bell’s home on October 23, 2017 in response to a complaint.  The officers determined that Bell had fired a gun in the living room, hitting a couch across from where his wife was sitting, and then went outside and fired a shot into the air.  Officers found an ejected shell from the firearm on the living room floor and two shotguns, an Ithaca shotgun, Model 37, 12 gauge and a Browning shotgun, Model Light Twelve 12 gauge.  Law enforcement agents measured the barrels of both shotguns and found they measured less than 18 inches in length, the minimum length required by law.  Bell admitted to possessing the firearms and that he was aware they were not registered as required by law. Under federal law, shotguns with barrels shorter than 18 inches must be registered.

Bell faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.  Doughty set the sentencing date for September 4, 2019.

The ATF and the Monroe Police Department conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Tennille M. Gilreath is prosecuting the case.

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated April 12, 2019