News and Press Releases

Washington County Man Pleads Guilty to 11 Federal Firearms Charges

October 25, 2012

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Washington, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Timothy D. Johnson, 41, pleaded guilty to 11 counts before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that in or around 2008 Johnson knowingly disposed of a firearm to a convicted felon. In addition, on various dates between Dec. 5, 2010, and Oct. 14, 2011, Johnson unlawfully possessed and transferred silencers and a machine gun. Most of the transactions and conversations preceding the transactions were captured on audio and video recordings supervised by the FBI.

Johnson frequently boasted of his ability to manufacture silencers and fully automatic weapons during the investigation. After his arrest, Johnson admitted that the firearm and silencer he possessed and transferred on May 18, 2011, were used by him in April 2011 in a drive-by shooting of a car parked outside a Washington County residence. One of the bullets from that shooting struck the house, though no one was injured. Johnson told the FBI that former East Washington Police Chief Donald Solomon instigated the shooting.

Judge Bissoon scheduled sentencing for Feb. 19, 2013 at 10 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence, at each count, of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued the detention of Johnson.

Assistant United States Attorney Margaret E. Picking is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, with the assistance of the Pennsylvania State Police, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and other state and federal law enforcement agencies, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Johnson.

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