Newsoms man arraigned on drug, gun charges

Published 9:27 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2008

SUFFOLK—A Newsoms man previously convicted of a violent felony faces two new felony charges after police reportedly found heroin and a weapon is his possession on Monday.

Richard Wayne Bell Jr., 42, was arraigned Tuesday in General District Court and charged with drug possession and possession of a firearm after being convicted with a violent felony. Details surrounding Bell’s previous felony conviction were not available. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for 1 p.m. on Jan. 13.

Detective Cpl. Richard Morris, an investigator with the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office, said Bell allegedly brandished a weapon at his home in the Grays Shop Road area of Newsoms and then fired it. There were reportedly four adults present in the home at the time of the incident.

Bell and his wife then got into a Ford Escape rental car and started traveling east toward Chesapeake, Morris said. Authorities had reason to believe that Bell’s wife may have been taken from the scene in Newsoms against her will.

Morris said he was driving an unmarked police car and started heading eastbound, looking for the Escape. He said he saw the vehicle and started following it without his lights and siren on, and waited for backup to arrive.

According to Morris, the Escape pulled over at the Suffolk Mart, a gas station and convenience store located at 6273 Holland Road in Suffolk. Morris said Bell’s wife was driving the Escape when it pulled over. Both occupants cooperated with police instructions to leave the vehicle. Afterward, a .357-caliber handgun and an undisclosed amount of heroin were discovered, Morris said.

Bell was taken into custody and remanded to the Southampton County Jail. He is being held without bond.

Morris said authorities found that Bell’s wife was not being held against her will.

A Suffolk Mart employee said he saw Bell’s wife leave the scene in the Escape after the on-site police investigation.