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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Arkansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 12, 2019

Convicted Murderer Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

LITTLE ROCK— A convicted murderer has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Today, United States Chief District Judge D.P. Marshall, Jr., sentenced Patrick Johnson, 22, of Little Rock, to 120 months’ imprisonment. Ten years is the statutory maximum penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Cody Hiland, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Little Rock Field Office, announced today’s sentence. The Court ordered that the sentence run consecutive to Johnson’s anticipated revocations in multiple pending state court cases and his pending Pulaski County Circuit Court cases for murder in the second degree and unlawful discharge of a firearm.

Johnson, a gang member, previously pleaded guilty before Judge Marshall to possession of a stolen rifle. The federal conviction stems from a March 19, 2018, arrest, when Little Rock Police Department Violent Crime Apprehension Team conducted a traffic stop. Johnson, who was a suspect in multiple violent crimes, was in the vehicle. The rifle was in plain view in a backpack Johnson was seen carrying prior to getting into the vehicle. Officers also located suspected crack cocaine in the vehicle.

On March 12, 2018, Johnson was involved in a shooting near Wright Avenue and Battery Street, where he and others fired shots at two individuals. He pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm. Only hours later, on March 13, 2018, Johnson was involved in a shooting near 26th Street and Cross Street, where the defendant and others were responsible for firing shots at an occupied vehicle. Two individuals were shot, one of whom died, and Johnson pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree. Analysis by the Arkansas State Crime Lab linked the rifle found during the March 19 traffic stop to the March 13 murder.

“Removing violent criminals from our communities is a top priority for our office, and today’s ten year sentence sends a message that we will not tolerate gun violence,” said U.S. Attorney Hiland. “Prosecuting violent criminals is critical to keeping our communities safe. We remain committed to working with our state and local partners to fulfill our promise that gun crime by violent criminals will lead to federal time—time with no opportunity for parole.”

The United States requested that the sentence run consecutively because the firearm was connected to multiple shooting incidents, including a murder. The United States also based the request on Johnson’s criminal history, which includes the convictions for murder in the second degree, unlawful discharge of a firearm, commercial burglary, theft, and continued criminal conduct while incarcerated.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI GETROCK Task Force and the Little Rock Police Department.           

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, is available online at

https://www.justice.gov/edar

Twitter:

@EDARNEWS

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated December 12, 2019