DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Louisiana

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Illegal Possession of Firearms Lands Two Men in Federal Prison

MONROE, La. – Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that two convicted felons have been sentenced in United States District Court for illegal possession of firearms. United States District Judge Terry A. Doughty sentenced both men today.

West Monroe Man Sentenced on Drug and Gun Charges

Jerry Dakota Johnston, 25, of West Monroe, Louisiana, was sentenced to 115 months (9 years, 7 months) in prison, followed by 4 years of supervised release, for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

On September 2, 2019, Union Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies observed Johnston illegally dumping trash at a parish dumpsite on Highway 15 in Downsville, Louisiana. While speaking with Johnston, deputies observed in plain view a 9mm handgun, loaded with a 30-round extended magazine, stuffed between the driver’s seat and center console of the vehicle Johnston had been driving. Johnston claimed that it was only a “BB gun,” but then, unprovoked, Johnston fled on foot down the highway. After a brief chase, deputies apprehended Johnston and placed him into custody. During a search of the vehicle, deputies found approximately 12 grams of methamphetamine packaged for distribution. Before his arrest on September 2, 2019, Johnson, a convicted felon, was prohibited from possessing firearms because of prior convictions for drug dealing and domestic violence. At the time of arrest, Johnston knew his status as a convicted felon.

The ATF and the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael T. Shannon prosecuted the case.

Monroe Man Sentenced on Federal Firearms Crimes

Cedric Dewayne Coleman, 36, of Monroe, Louisiana, was sentenced to 54 months (4 years, 6 months) in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Coleman previously pleaded guilty to the charge on June 3, 2020.

In November 2019, detectives with the Monroe Police Department conducted a follow-up investigation of a domestic dispute. Detectives went to an apartment in Monroe, Louisiana and found Coleman lying in bed. After a search of the bedroom, officers found a pistol at the head of the bed Coleman was sleeping in and he admitted that the gun was his. Coleman has previous convictions for distribution of marijuana (2005); possession of cocaine (2006); and domestic abuse battery (2015). Under federal law, it is it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of a firearm or ammunition.

The ATF and the Monroe Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Cassidy prosecuted the case.

Each case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. To learn more about Project Safe Neighborhoods, go to www.justice.gov/psn.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

 

New Orleans Field Division