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Press Release

Jonesboro Woman Pleads Guilty to Lying and Buying of Firearm Used to Kill Omaha, Nebraska Police Officer

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

ATLANTA - Jalita Jenera Johnson has pleaded guilty to lying during the purchase of a gun and magazine, saying it was for her, when in fact she purchased the gun for her convicted felon boyfriend, Marcus Wheeler.  Wheeler later used the gun to kill an Omaha, Nebraska, police officer who was attempting to serve a warrant for his arrest.

“Laws which prevent convicted felons from buying guns are designed to protect the public,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “This defendant helped a convicted felon circumvent those laws.  The tragic consequences and loss of life in this case reinforces the reason we have such strict laws in place.”   

“The plea today is another reminder that ATF will hold individuals accountable for any criminal behavior, especially that which threatens the safety of innocent civilians,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Carl Walker.

According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: In April 2015, Jalita Jenera Johnson bought a Glock semiautomatic firearm, a 50‑round drum magazine, and ammunition from a pawnshop in Jonesboro, Georgia. When Johnson bought the firearm, she was required to fill out a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Form 4473. That form requires the purchaser of the firearm to disclose who the true buyer or transferee of the firearm is. The defendant stated on the form that she was the true buyer. However, Johnson was, in fact, buying the firearm for her boyfriend, Marcus Wheeler, a convicted felon who could not buy the gun for himself.

Wheeler provided Johnson with the money to buy the gun and magazine and directed the defendant on which gun and magazine to buy. In May 2015, using the gun and magazine that Johnson bought for him, Wheeler got into an armed confrontation with the City of Omaha Police Department in Omaha, Nebraska, that resulted in the officer’s death. Wheeler was also killed during the shootout.

Sentencing for Jalita Jenera Johnson, 26, of Jonesboro, Georgia, is scheduled for November 2, 2015, at 2:00 p.m., before United States District Judge Eleanor L. Ross.

This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Assistant United States Attorney Mary L. Webb is prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated February 4, 2016