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Press Release

San Francisco Resident Sentenced To Nearly 10 Years In Prison For Illegal Possession Of A Firearm

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

SAN FRANCISCO – Valentino Johnson was sentenced to 114 months in prison for illegally possessing a firearm in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Rayfield Roundtree.  The sentence was handed down today by the Honorable Vince Chhabria, U.S. District Judge.

Johnson was convicted of the charge on August 28, 2015, following a jury trial.  On April 4, 2016, the defendant was sentenced to eight years in prison.  After a government appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the sentence and remanded to the District Court for resentencing.  

The evidence at trial and sentencing showed that Johnson possessed a firearm after sustaining six felony convictions.  Evidence in this case also showed that the defendant used the firearm to break into a San Francisco residence.  The Court also found that the defendant obstructed justice in connection with this case by attempting to persuade another person to accept responsibility for the firearm.

The San Francisco Police Department was able to make the connection between the firearm and the defendant by testing the firearm through ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).  In this case, the firearm possessed by Johnson was used by Johnson’s brother to kill another person in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco in 2011.  His brother pleaded guilty to using a firearm in connection with the homicide, but the firearm itself was never recovered by the San Francisco Police Department.  In 2014, SFPD discovered the firearm during a parole search of Johnson’s Bayview residence.  The NIBIN test results provided key evidence establishing Johnson’s possession of the firearm.   

NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms.  Since the program’s inception in 1999, NIBIN partners have processed approximately 99,000 NIBIN leads and 110,000 NIBIN hits. Approximately 16 million images in the network includes 3.3 million pieces of evidence. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Chhabria sentenced the defendant to a three-year period of supervised release. The defendant has been in custody since his arrest in this matter.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Kaleba and Merry Jean Chan are prosecuting the case.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by San Francisco Police Department and ATF.

Updated September 25, 2018