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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Federal Judge Sentences Prior Felon to 22 Years in Prison for Armed Carjacking

BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced a Graysville man to more than 20 years in prison for a 2016 carjacking in Forestdale, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr.

U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced MICHAEL DeWAYNE JOHNSON, 33, to 21 years and 10 months in prison on one count each of carjacking, being a convicted felon in possession of a gun and using a gun during the commission of a violent crime. Johnson pleaded guilty to the charges in October.

“This defendant was a violent career criminal. At the time of this offense, he had just recently been released on probation for another violent robbery in which he used a gun,” Town said. “The revolving door for Johnson is now locked tightly behind him and a warm prison bed awaits him.”

 “I applaud the sentence handed down today because this is the type of violent offender who needs to be taken off the streets,” Sharp said. “I want to thank the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and my agents for their outstanding work on this case.”

According to Johnson’s plea agreement, the carjacking and his arrest occurred as follows:

Johnson stole a Chevrolet Trailblazer from a man stopped in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant on Forestdale Boulevard on Aug. 17, 2016, by opening the truck door, twice striking the man with the butt of a pistol and ordering him out of the vehicle. The victim had stopped in the parking lot to call his wife and ask what she wanted him to order.

The victim reported the carjacking and a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy spotted a truck matching the Trailblazer’s description about 30 minutes later at a gas station about five miles from the restaurant where the incident occurred. When the deputy pulled behind the Trailblazer, Johnson sped away, only to lose control and wreck the vehicle after a short chase. The truck flipped several times, strewing debris, before landing in a residential yard.

Law enforcement recovered two semi-automatic handguns among the debris, a Taurus Millennium .40-caliber and a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber, both matching the victim’s description of the gun used in the carjacking. The Taurus pistol was reported stolen from a burglary in Tarrant the day before the carjacking. A passenger in the Trailblazer with Johnson told investigators that he had no guns on him that night and both firearms found at the scene must have belonged to Johnson.

Johnson had at least two prior state felony convictions – first degree robbery in Jefferson County in 2004, and first degree robbery in Jefferson County in 2008.

The FBI and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Xavier O. Carter Sr. prosecuted.

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Updated March 20, 2018