U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Minnesota
District of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
September 23, 2013
John R. Marti, United States Attorney
Contact: Jeanne F. Cooney Director of Community Relations
Minneapolis Felon Sentenced for Possessing a .44-Caliber Revolver
MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 28-year-old felon from Minneapolis was sentenced for possessing a .44-caliber revolver. United States District Judge Ann D. Montgomery sentenced Eugene Denzel Johnson to 80 months in prison on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Johnson was indicted on November 20, 2012, and pleaded guilty on May 13, 2013.
In his plea agreement, Johnson admitted that on September 5, 2012, he was riding in a vehicle that police attempted to stop following a traffic violation. Johnson jumped from the passenger side of the vehicle and ran, a gun tucked in his waistband. Spotting the gun as Johnson exited the vehicle, police gave chase, ultimately apprehending him a short time later. Officers recovered the gun after using a trained canine to trace the path that Johnson had taken.
Because he is a felon, Johnson is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms at any time. He was previously convicted in Hennepin County on charges of first-degree aggravated robbery (2005 and 2010), in Ramsey County on charges of theft of a motor vehicle (2003), and in Dakota County on charges of criminal damage to property (2003).
This case was the result of an investigation by the Minneapolis Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amber M. Brennan.
The case was charged under Project Exile Minneapolis. That law enforcement initiative was launched on July 22, 2010, as part of a city-wide effort to reduce gun violence. Through Project Exile, the Minneapolis Police Department and the ATF work together to apprehend serial criminals for violations of gun laws. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office then teams up with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to determine where those offenders will most effectively be prosecuted – state or federal court. Those determinations are based on the offenders’ criminal histories and current charges, among other factors. To date, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has brought charges against more than two dozen serious habitual criminals through Project Exile Minneapolis.