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Press Release

New Haven Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun and Robbery Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that THOMAS JOHNSON, 27, of New Haven, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to federal robbery and firearm charges.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on June 30, 2016, at approximately 1:41 a.m., New Haven Police officers were dispatched to Ferry Street after a report of person who had been shot.  At the scene, officers found two victims.  One victim had been shot in the left elbow and was bleeding heavily, and the other victim was bleeding from the nose. 

The investigation, which has included witness interviews, DNA evidence, ballistics evidence and footage from a surveillance video, revealed that JOHNSON and Shaquille Richardson attacked the two victims after they exited a convenience store in an attempt to steal marijuana and money from the victims.  JOHNSON shot one of the victims in his elbow, and Richardson struck the other victim in the face with a gun.

Officers apprehended Richardson near the scene of the robbery.  When Richardson was found, he was bleeding from a gash to his hand where one of the victims had slashed him with a knife in self-defense.  JOHNSON was arrested on July 28, 2016, during a motor vehicle stop.  At the time of his arrest, JOHNSON possessed the firearm he used during the robbery.

JOHNSON pleaded guilty to one count of Hobbs Act Robbery, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years; one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, an offense that carries a mandatory consecutive term of imprisonment of 10 years.  Judge Shea scheduled sentencing for July 9, 2018.

Richardson, who pleaded guilty to related charges on January 31, 2018, also awaits sentencing.

JOHNSON and Richardson have been detained since their arrests.

This matter is being investigated by the New Haven Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter D. Markle and Jocelyn Courtney Kaoutzanis.

Updated April 5, 2018

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