Armed Career Criminal Exiled to over 11 Years in Prison for Possessing a Rifle

October 8, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced Ernest Johnson, age 28, of Columbia, South Carolina, today to 140 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a gun. Judge Quarles enhanced Johnson’s sentence upon finding that he is an armed career criminal, based on five previous convictions for burglary offenses.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy; and Chief Marcus L. Brown of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police.

According to Johnson’s plea agreement, on April 12, 2009 a Maryland Transportation Authority Police officer was traveling on Interstate 95 when he saw a car driven by Johnson traveling with no rear or front license plates, paper tag or temporary registration. The officer stopped the car. Upon the officer’s request, Johnson produced his South Carolina driver’s license, but could not produce the car’s registration. Johnson became nervous when the officer asked if Johnson had any drugs or weapons in the car. A canine search was performed and a rifle and ammunition bag containing two magazine clips, one loaded with ten rounds of ammunition, were seized.

Johnson was previously convicted of a felony and thus prohibited from possessing a firearm.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended ATF, Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office and the Maryland Transportation Authority Police for their work in this investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Cheryl L. Crumpton, who prosecuted the case.

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