For Immediate Release
Illegal Possession of Drugs and Guns Results in Time in Federal Prison
SHREVEPORT, La. – Three men charged with drug trafficking and firearms charges in three separate cases have been sentenced to time in federal prison, Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced.
Henry Cota, Jr., 38, of Ontario, California, was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge S. Maurice Hicks, Jr. to spend 135 months (11 years, 3 months) in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release. Cota was charged in a superseding indictment in January 2020 and pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine on March 17, 2021. The charges stemmed from an investigation into shipments of methamphetamine that were sent in March, April and July 2019 to individuals in the Shreveport area. During an investigation into these shipments, agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service learned that Cota, along with another co-defendant, were shipping the packages containing methamphetamine from post offices in the California area to Shreveport for distribution.
The DEA and United States Postal Inspection Service conducted this investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Aaron Crawford prosecuted the case.
Percy Charles Johnson, 36, of Shreveport, Louisiana, was sentenced by United States District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to spend 33 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. On February 20, 2020, officers with the Shreveport Police Department responded to a welfare check at an apartment complex in Shreveport. Officers found Johnson sleeping on a hallway floor and he had a loaded pistol in his pocket. Johnson is a convicted felon and knew that he was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition. His prior felony conviction was for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Caddo Parish in 2009.
In another case involving a convicted felon illegally possessing a firearm, United States District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote sentenced Steven Randell Johnson, 29, also of Shreveport, to spend 20 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. On May 3, 2020, while patrolling the Line Avenue area, an officer with the Shreveport Police Department heard gunfire nearby and went to investigate. The officer observed a vehicle being driven down the street with the driver’s side front door open. Another responding officer saw an adult male jump from the vehicle and run into a nearby residence. Law enforcement officers stopped the vehicle and ordered the driver, determined to be Johnson, to exit the vehicle and he complied. The officer observed a semi-automatic pistol on the front passenger floorboard and Johnson admitted to officers that the pistol, which was loaded with 19 live rounds and one in the chamber, belonged to him. He has prior felony convictions for second degree cruelty to a juvenile (2015) and simple burglary (2012), and is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.
The ATF and Shreveport Police Department conducted both investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seth D. Reeg and Earl M. Campbell prosecuted the cases.
These cases are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. PSN is part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to www.justice.gov/psn.