Cedartown Man Sentenced for Illegally Possessing
a Firearm as a Convicted Felon
Defendant Attempted to Evade Arrest and Discharged his Firearm Twice While Fleeing Officers at High Speeds through Three Counties in North Georgia
ROME, Ga. - A Cedartown native, who led police on a chase for over an hour and shot his .357 caliber pistol during the pursuit, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Robert L. Vining for illegally possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon, announced Sally Quillian Yates, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. Johnnie Turner, 26, of Cedartown, Georgia, was convicted of these charges on September 22, 2011, upon his plea of guilty.
“Today’s sentence is a testament to the consequences facing convicted felons who illegally arm themselves,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said. “This defendant’s mistaken belief that he could possess a firearm, and discharge that firearm during an attempt to evade a lawful arrest, will now cost him 10 years in prison.”
“The sentence imposed by the court sends a clear message of deterrence to those individuals who would contemplate performing any criminal activity involving firearms in the Northern Judicial District of Georgia,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Delvecchio. “Mr. Turner showed total disregard for public safety and the lives of others as he recklessly drove through the streets of Georgia attempting to evade law enforcement. ATF’s mission as the violent crime bureau is to see that criminals like Mr. Turner are brought to justice and our communities remain a safe place to live and prosper.”
“The primary mission of the task force is to assist state and local agencies in apprehending violent fugitives,” said Chief Inspector Booker, Commander of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force. “The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is one of our task force’s member agencies, and this arrest demonstrates what can happen when we pool our law enforcement resources and operate as a team.”
Turner was sentenced to 10 years in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Turner pleaded guilty on September 22, 2011, to being in possession of a .357 caliber revolver, after having been convicted of at least three felonies, including burglary and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: When police attempted to arrest Turner in Cedartown, Georgia, on June 22, 2010, on an outstanding arrest warrant, he fled in his vehicle. For the next hour, Turner attempted to outrun the authorities at speeds over 100 miles per hour through Polk County, Floyd County, and Bartow County. At one point in his effort to evade arrest, Turner drove into oncoming civilian traffic. During the pursuit, Turner brandished a .357 caliber revolver at officers and discharged it twice. After an hour of pursuit, officers ultimately arrested Turner in Cartersville, Georgia.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Marshal’s Southeast Regional Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
Assistant United States Attorney Laurel R. Boatright prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Information Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the Home Page for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.