Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

He didn’t get time for shooting someone in the face. He got 22 years for holding the gun

James Bell got sentenced to 22 years Friday not for shooting someone in the face, but for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
James Bell got sentenced to 22 years Friday not for shooting someone in the face, but for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

James Bell, a 52-year-old resident of Miami Gardens, has spent almost half his life as a legal adult in the Florida prison system. On Friday, Bell was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

That’s more time than Bell likely would get had he been prosecuted in Miami-Dade court for the crime that led to this charge, shooting a man in the face outside the Universal Supermarket, 3601 NW 191st St., last May 31. That’s also more than the 15 years and one month combined time of Bell’s six previous Florida prison stretches.

His longest prison term, seven years, 11 months, involved two charges of being a felon in possession of a gun or ammunition.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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