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Press Release

Convicted Felon Sentenced for Illegally Possessing Firearm

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

RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond man was sentenced today to nearly five years in prison for his second conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

“With over 30 criminal convictions, Johnson has shown total disregard towards our justice system,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “A convicted felon possessing a loaded gun and drugs is a deadly combination for communities across the Eastern District. Along with our law enforcement partners, we are 100 percent committed to pursuing criminals like Johnson who present a serious danger to the safety of our communities.”

According to court documents, Devonte Johnson, 28, was approached by law enforcement officers on a public sidewalk in Gilpin Court around 2:00 a.m. in January. When one of the officers noticed a bulge in Johnson’s waistband, Johnson turned away and soon thereafter fled from the officers.  While fleeing, Johnson reached into his waistband for a loaded .22 caliber semiautomatic pistol, which was later recovered by law enforcement and found to be fully loaded with ammunition.  After arresting Johnson, officers searched him for contraband, ultimately recovering crack cocaine and heroin. Johnson was previously convicted in Richmond Circuit Court for possessing a firearm after being convicted of a violent felony.

"This case is a great example of the partnership between local, state and federal law enforcement,” said David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office. “The Richmond Violent Crime Initiative, led by the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO), has prioritized violent crime reduction in our city. The FBI is grateful for the partnership with the USAO, as well as with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the City of Richmond Police Department that led to the successful federal prosecution of a convicted felon in possession of a firearm."

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge M. Hannah Lauck. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Simon prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:19-cr-49.


Joshua Stueve
Director of Public Affairs

Updated July 31, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods