andrew James Johnson Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings on February 25, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, ANDREW JAMES JOHNSON, a 23-year-old resident of Minnesota, pled guilty to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm. Sentencing has been set for May 26, 2010. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed Zink, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In 2006, JOHNSON was convicted of burglary in Minnesota and was released from prison on April 22, 2009. As a result of this conviction, he was prohibited from possessing firearms.
On April 30, 2009, JOHNSON tried to pawn a stolen shotgun at a pawn shop in Billings. Pawn shop employees learned the gun was reported stolen and contacted law enforcement. The shotgun was identified as a Dakin Antonio Zoli 12 gauge shotgun. JOHNSON completed the pawn sheet and claimed ownership of the firearm since 2004. However, the shotgun was reported stolen in early 2009.
When questioned by law enforcement, JOHNSON stated he and some friends from Minnesota were on a trip to see a sick friend in North Dakota. When that friend's surgery was postponed, they drifted into Billings, then to Yellowstone Park, then back to Billings. JOHNSON said their gas money ran low so he tried to pawn the shotgun to get the money to return home.
JOHNSON faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.