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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Maryland

For Immediate Release

March 7, 2012

Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney

Contact: AUSA Vickie E. LeDuc or Marcia Murphy
(410) 209-4885

Baltimore Felon Exiled to 15 Years in Prison on Gun and Ammunition Charges

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Eric Johnson, age 44, of Baltimore, today to 15 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Judge Blake enhanced Johnson's sentence upon finding that he is an armed career criminal based on four previous drug convictions.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Debbie D. Bullock of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III of the Baltimore City Police Department; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.

According to his plea agreement, on April 13, 2010 Baltimore Police detectives observed an SUV with a faded temporary license plate weaving in and out of traffic in the 4400 block of Reisterstown Road in Baltimore, Maryland. The detectives stopped the vehicle and noticed the smell of marijuana. A detective noticed that Johnson appeared to be concealing something in his mouth. Upon the detective's order, Johnson spit out two small baggies containing marijuana.

Following his arrest, Johnson told the detectives that he had a revolver wrapped in duct tape at his home. Johnson permitted the detectives to search his house and told them the gun was on a shelf in his bedroom closet. The detectives seized a .38 caliber revolver with the handle wrapped in duct tape from the location that Johnson described. Recovered next to the firearm was a box containing 45 rounds of .38 Special cartridges, three rounds of 3-D .38 Special cartridges and a Remington .38 Special cartridge.

Johnson had previously been convicted of a felony and was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended ATF, the Baltimore City Police Department and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Debra L. Dwyer, who prosecuted the case.