Defendant flashed firearms in rap videos
A Grovetown man with a felony criminal record has admitted carrying a firearm found in his car during a Richmond County traffic stop.
Antonio Dondrell Bell, 29, pled guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon during a hearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, substantial fines and up to three years of supervised release after completion of the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
“Despite a criminal history that makes it very clear he is prohibited from carrying firearms, Bell persisted in not only possessing a weapon but in brandishing firearms and glorifying a criminal lifestyle in videos posted online,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “His audience will be substantially smaller inside a federal prison.”
According to court documents and testimony, Bell was arrested in Dec.7, 2018, after a traffic stop in Augusta by Richmond County sheriff’s deputies who found a loaded Ruger 9mm handgun with an extended magazine under the driver’s seat of Bell’s 2015 Chevrolet Corvette.
In online videos in which he performs under the name “Yayo,” Bell is seen holding a firearm while also flashing large stacks of cash. He claimed the videos were staged for his budding music career, while also admitting that he was a member of the 5-9 Brims, a subset of the violent Bloods criminal street gang. Bell faces additional state charges, including indictments on multiple counts of the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.
Bell has previous convictions for felonies, which make it illegal for him to possess a firearm.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alejandro V. Pascual IV.