A gang member and self-styled rapper with a felony criminal record has
been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for illegally possessing
Antonio Dondrell Bell, 29, of Grovetown, Ga., was sentenced to
84 months in prison by U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall
after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon,
said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of
Georgia. After completion of his prison term, Bell will be required to
serve three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the
“Antonio Bell knew that as a convicted felon he is not allowed to
carry firearms, yet he chose not only to violate the law but to brazenly
glorify gun possession in his videos posted online,” said U.S. Attorney
Christine. “Now, inside a prison, he might have a live audience – but
he won’t be able to flash firearms in his performances.”
According to court documents and information shared in court, 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
high-capacity magazine under the driver’s seat of the 2015 Chevrolet
Corvette Bell was driving.
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 felony convictions, which make it illegal for him to possess a firearm.
“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
considers Richmond County Sheriff’s Office a critical partner in its
long-term mission of removing criminals and gangs from our communities
in the Augusta area,” said Beau Kolodka, Assistant Special Agent in
Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the ATF.