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      Columbia felon sentenced to three years for carrying pistols while out on bond

      COLUMBIA (WACH)??United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated that Raheem Fitzgerald Bethel, 27, of Columbia was sentenced to 35 months in federal prison.

      On January 25, Bethel, who is a previously convicted felon, was on bond for attempted murder and arrested by the Columbia Police Department with two pistols, one of them which was stolen.

      After being released on bond, Bethel was arrested on September 15, 2013 in possession of another stolen pistol.

      This prosecution is part of the United States Attorney??s ongoing efforts with the Columbia Police Department with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to identify and prosecute violent felons who possess firearms.

      The case was prosecuted by the Assistant United States Attorney Jay N. Richardson.