U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Minnesota
District of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney
Contact: Jeanne Cooney, Director of Community Relations
Austin Felon Indicted for Possessing Firearms
MINNEAPOLIS — A federal indictment unsealed earlier this week charges a 31–year–old felon from Austin with possessing several firearms and ammunition. The indictment, which was filed on April 17, 2012, specifically charges Samuel James Johnson with four counts of being an armed career criminal in possession of a firearm and one count of a being an armed career criminal in possession of ammunition. The indictment was unsealed on April 25, 2012, following Johnson’s initial appearance in federal court.
The indictment alleges that Johnson possessed a 12–gauge shotgun and a .22–caliber handgun on October 30, 2010; a .39–caliber, semi–automatic, assault rifle on November 4, 2010; a .45–caliber handgun and a .22–caliber rifle on December 8, 2010; and a shotgun as well as a .39–caliber, semi–automatic, assault rifle and a .22–caliber revolver on September 11, 2011. In addition, the indictment alleges that on November 3, 2010, Johnson possessed 60 rounds of .39–caliber ammunition.
Johnson’s criminal history includes a number of convictions in Mower County: attempted simple robbery (2000), simple robbery (2007), possession of a short–barreled shotgun (2007), and sale of a simulated controlled substance (2007). In addition, Johnson was convicted in Hennepin County for felony theft (1999). Because he is a felon, Johnson is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.
Moreover, because at least three of Johnson’s past felony convictions were for crimes of violence or serious drug crimes, sentencing in the current federal case is subject to the Armed Career Criminal Act, which mandates a minimum of 15 years in federal prison for count of conviction. The maximum sentence is life in prison. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, with assistance from the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; the University of Minnesota Police Department; the Minneapolis Police Department; the St. Paul Police Department; the Fairmont Police Department; and the Minnesota Department of Corrections. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Winter.