News and Press Releases

Washington County Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Violating Federal Firearms Laws

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2013

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Washington, Pa., has been sentenced in federal court to five years imprisonment, to be followed by two years supervised release, on violating federal firearms charges, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Timothy D. Johnson, 41, was sentenced on 11 counts before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon. Johnson was also ordered to forfeit firearms and silencers, including a Sten machine gun.

According to information presented to the court, 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.

FBI Special Agent James Shearer testified that Johnson and Solomon were originally to be members of a "home invasion" team that would rob homeowners of cash and, in some instances, drugs. Solomon, as Police Chief, was to provide background information on the subjects and "cover" during the home invasions, according to recorded conversations captured by the FBI.

Prior to announcing sentence, Judge Bissoon described Johnson's challenges to the evidence as "unpersuasive" and "disingenuous".

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

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), 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, for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Johnson.

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