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
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.
An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.