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Parolee allegedly peddles meth, commits forgery, theft, and identify theft while out of prison
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Parolee allegedly peddles meth, commits forgery, theft, and identify theft while out of prison

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A Davenport man recently sent back to prison on multiple convictions of theft, forgery and burglary in Scott, Muscatine and Johnson counties, is facing 11 charges of methamphetamine trafficking in one case and forgery, theft, identity theft and conspiracy charges in another case that authorities allege he committed while he was on work release or parole.

In the first case, Paul A. Bell, 53, who has been serving prison time in the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, is charged with five counts of possession with the intent to deliver more than 5 grams of methamphetamine. Each of those charges is a Class B felony under Iowa law that carries a prison sentence of 25 years.

Bell also is charged with two Class C felony counts of possession with the intent to deliver less than 5 grams of meth. Those charges carry a prison sentence of 10 years. He also is charged with four counts of violating Iowa’s drug tax stamp law. Each of those charges is a Class D felony that carries a prison sentence of five years.

According to the arrest affidavit filed by agents with the Quad-City Metropolitan Enforcement Group, Bell delivered 99.7 grams of crystal methamphetamine to undercover agents during the course of seven controlled buys from Oct. 31, 2019, to Dec. 10, 2019.

Bell is to be arraigned on the drug charges Feb. 3 in Scott County District Court.

In a second case investigated the Davenport Police Department, Bell is charged with one count each of forgery, conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony, identity theft and second-degree theft. Each of the charges is a Class D felony that carries a prison sentence of five years.

According to the arrest affidavit filed by Davenport Police Officer Jennifer Brewer, between December 2020 and March 2021, Bell and another person were seen with another person’s checkbook. They forged the victim’s signature to obtain merchandise at businesses in Davenport and Clinton.

The amount the two spent was more than $1,500 but less than $10,000.

Bell is also to be arraigned in this case on Feb. 3 in Scott County District Court.

The meth trafficking and forgery occurred during the period Bell was on work release or parole from prison from Aug. 16, 2019, through March 10, 2021, when he was returned to prison for violating his parole.

On March 14, 2014, Bell was sentenced to 15 years in prison as a habitual offender in Muscatine County after pleading guilty to a charge of unauthorized use of a credit card below $10,000. The charge is a Class D felony.

On Dec. 28, 2017, Bell was sentenced to 15 years in prison on a forgery charge. He was given an extended sentence as a habitual offender. He had to serve a minimum of three years before he could be placed on work release or parole.

He was placed on work release on April 18, 2019, and on parole on Aug. 16, 2019.

While out he committed other crimes in Scott, Johnson and Muscatine counties.

He was returned to prison on March 10, 2021.

On Aug. 11, 2021, during a hearing in Scott County District Court, Bell was sentenced to concurrent sentences of five years on four convictions of theft and forgery and a concurrent sentence of two years in prison on a third-degree theft conviction. Concurrent means the sentences will run at the same time.

On Aug. 20, 2021, Bell was sentenced to five years in prison on a forgery conviction during a hearing in Johnson County District Court. This sentence was to run concurrent to the sentences in Scott County.

Bell also is awaiting trial in Muscatine County on three charges of forgery that occurred in July and August of 2020. Each is a Class D felony. He also is charged with ongoing criminal conduct, a Class B felony that carries a prison sentence of 25 years.

According to the Iowa Department of Corrections website, Bell has been on work release, parole, probation or in prison since 1994.

On Aug. 26, 2021, Bell submitted a motion to quash restitution in his Muscatine County case of unauthorized use of a credit card. In his motion, Bell said that, “I have zero income, I have PTSD, night terrors, a seizure disorder. I don’t have a job while incarcerated. All the medical restrictions I have will prevent me from getting a job. I have zero income and don’t foresee any in my future.”

Bell was being held Thursday night in the Scott County Jail on bonds totaling $105,000, cash or surety on the new charges, and without bond on a Department of Corrections hold. 

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