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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 4, 2021

Boston Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Officers with a Firearm During Civil Disorder in Boston

BOSTON – A Boston man pleaded guilty today to assaulting officers with a firearm during the civil disorder in Boston early in the morning of June 1, 2020.

John Boampong, 37, pleaded guilty to one count each of interfering with a law enforcement officer during the commission of a civil disorder, receipt of a firearm by a person under indictment for a felony offense, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees. U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for June 10, 2021. Boampong was charged by criminal complaint on June 30, 2020 and has been detained since his arrest on June 1.

According to the terms of the plea agreement, Boampong will be sentenced to a term of 42 to 63 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release.

According to court documents, on the evening of May 31, 2020 and continuing through the morning of June 1, 2020, what began as a peaceful demonstration in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood devolved into widespread acts of violence, vandalism, looting and destruction of police property, including the burning of at least one police vehicle on Tremont Street. Some protestors threw rocks, bricks and commercially-available explosives at police officers. Numerous police officers were injured.

On June 1, 2020 at approximately 3:00 am, Boampong was driving his car near the Arlington Street and Boylston Street intersection in front of a store that had been victimized by looting that evening. Police officers instructed Boampong and his passengers to leave the area. The occupants of Boampong’s car initially became verbally combative towards the officers and failed to leave the area as instructed. When Boampong reversed the car, officers told him to stop, as officers and another vehicle were in the way. However, Boampong continued driving in reverse and then drove away. Shortly thereafter, he returned to the area, parked on Providence Street, and shot at least 11 times toward officers, including a deputized federal officer. The officers took cover by bracing or ducking behind cars and other objects. Bullets broke through the windows of two apartments above ground level in a building behind some of the officers.

When officers eventually stopped Boampong’s car, they saw a Sig Sauer P230 9mm firearm lying on the floor of the front passenger-side floor mat, and a black holster underneath the driver’s seat, where Boampong had been sitting. The firearm was later examined and found to have Boampong’s fingerprint on it.

At the time, Boampong was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition because he faced pending state charges carrying potential sentences exceeding one year.

The charge of assaulting federal officers provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charges of interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder and being a prohibited person in receipt of a firearm or ammunition provide for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Boston Police Acting Commissioner Gregory Long; and Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Dawley of Lelling’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott L. Garland, Deputy Chief of Lelling’s National Security Unit, are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated February 4, 2021