Macon Man Found Guilty of Bank Robbery While on Federal Supervised Release

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Gabriel Bell, a 29-year-old resident of Macon, was found guilty by a federal jury on March 12 for robbing the Truist Bank on Riverside Drive in Macon back in 2023 while on federal supervised release for illegally possessing a firearm.

The verdict came after a two-day trial that commenced on Monday, March 11. Bell faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release. U.S. District Chief Judge Marc Treadwell presided over the case, and a sentencing date will be determined by the Court.

U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary commented on the case, stating, “Gabriel Bell terrorized Truist employees when he entered the bank and demanded money while threatening to shoot them. People should be safe to conduct their everyday business without fear or intimidation; sending Bell back to federal prison will further that goal.”

Robert Gibbs, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent of FBI Atlanta’s Macon Office, remarked, “Bell’s prior prison time was apparently not enough for him because he returned to his robbing ways while he was still on supervised release for the last crime he committed.”

Sheriff David J. Davis of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office expressed gratitude towards the public for their involvement in identifying Bell as the robber, stating, “Committed public involvement coupled with good investigative follow-up resulted in this repeat offender being held accountable for yet another unlawful deed.”

According to court documents and trial evidence, Bell entered the Truist Bank on February 16, 2023, at approximately 3:17 p.m., wearing a blue surgical mask. He handed a demand note to a teller, threatening to shoot if they didn’t comply with his demands. After receiving cash, Bell fled the scene. Although tellers reported seeing what appeared to be a weapon, none was recovered.

The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance photographs to the public, leading to tips identifying Bell. The FBI confirmed his involvement through latent fingerprints on the demand note and location data from Bell’s cell phone and Google account, placing him near the bank at the time of the robbery. Bell was apprehended on February 20, 2023.

Bell had previously been convicted of armed robbery in 2015 and convicted of illegally possessing a firearm in 2021 in federal court in the Eastern District of North Carolina. At the time of the Truist Bank robbery, he was on federal supervised release for the latter offense.

The investigation was conducted jointly by the FBI and the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.