News and Press Releases

Former Erie Man Gets 10-Year Prison Sentence for Illegally Possessing a Silencer

October 8, 2013

ERIE, Pa. - A former resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 120 months in jail on his conviction of violating federal firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Maurice B. Cohill, Jr. imposed the sentence on James Lamont Johnson, 47.

According to information established at trial, on August 15, 2012, in Vernon Township, Crawford County, Pennsylvania, Johnson unlawfully possessed a firearm silencer for a .25 caliber handgun. Johnson ordered the silencer from another individual, and ordered eleven additional firearm silencers that he wanted to be produced immediately. The evidence established that Johnson needed the .25 caliber silencer by the upcoming weekend because he needed to "take care of somebody" in Erie. After Johnson obtained the firearm silencer and entered his red 2009 Lexus sedan, he was apprehended by police officers. During the execution of a search warrant on Johnson's Lexus vehicle, the silencer was found hidden in an empty space behind the dashboard air vents. The vehicle had been altered to allow Johnson ready access to the hidden compartment in order to try to hide the silencer after he entered the vehicle. Johnson's possession of the firearm silencer was unlawful because it had not been registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record as required under federal law.

Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Vernon Township Police Department, the Meadville City Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Johnson.

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