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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Wisconsin
Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, July 7, 2023

Fitchburg Man Sentenced to 33 Months for Illegal Gun Possession

Derrick Johnson Also Sentenced to Additional 9 Months Following Revocation of Supervised Release for Previous Federal Conviction

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Derrick Johnson, 27, Fitchburg, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 33 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm, to be followed by a 3-year term of supervised release. Johnson pleaded guilty to this charge on April 4, 2023.

On December 5, 2022, Fitchburg police were dispatched to an apartment complex in response to call for a man with a gun. When officers arrived, they saw Johnson place something under a bush. Officers took him into custody as he matched the description provided of the man with a gun. Under the bush officers found a loaded 9mm handgun. Officers also found small amounts of marijuana, MDMA, and cocaine in Johnson’s pockets.

In 2018, Johnson was convicted in federal court of possessing hydrocodone with the intent to distribute and possessing a firearm in furtherance of that drug trafficking crime. Judge Conley sentenced Johnson in April 2018 to six years in federal prison. Johnson was still on supervised release when arrested for this new offense. Judge Conley revoked his supervision based on the new criminal conduct and sentenced Johnson to an additional 9 months.

At sentencing, Judge Conley said that Johnson did not take steps to address his drug use and mental health issues while on federal supervision. Instead, as an addict, Johnson got a gun and went back to the same lifestyle that he led before going to federal prison the first time.

The charge against Johnson was the result of an investigation conducted by the Fitchburg Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Stephan handled the prosecution.

This case has been brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the U.S. Justice Department’s program to reduce violent crime. The PSN approach emphasizes coordination between state and federal prosecutors and all levels of law enforcement to address gun crime, especially felons illegally possessing firearms and ammunition and violent and drug crimes that involve the use of firearms.

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