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Press Release

Jonesboro Woman Sentenced for Lying and Buying 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 been sentenced for lying when she bought a gun and 50-round drum magazine for her convicted felon boyfriend, Marcus Wheeler. Wheeler later used the gun and magazine to kill an Omaha, Nebraska, police officer while the officer was attempting to serve a warrant on Wheeler for his arrest.

“The tragic result in this case is a stark reminder of how firearm purchasing laws are designed to protect the public,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “Ms. Johnson’s case shows that if you buy a gun for someone else and lie about it, you never know where that gun will end up or what it will be used for. Illegally bought guns not only pose a risk to our community, but any other community where the gun is ultimately taken.”

“This sentence serves as a reminder to all law enforcement that we need to remain vigilant in curtailing the illegal trafficking of firearms in order to protect 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 the identity of the true buyer or transferee of the firearm. Johnson stated on the form that she was the true buyer. But in fact, Johnson was buying the firearm for her boyfriend, Marcus Wheeler, who was a convicted felon and so could not buy the gun for himself. Wheeler provided Johnson with the money to buy the gun and magazine. He also directed Johnson 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, during which Wheeler used the Glock firearm to shoot and kill an Omaha Police Officer.  Wheeler also was killed during the shootout. 

Jalita Jenera Johnson, 26, of Jonesboro, Georgia, has been sentenced to one year of probation, 40 hours of community service, and 180 days’ home confinement.  Johnson was convicted on these charges on August 19, 2015, after she pleaded guilty.

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

Assistant United States Attorney Mary L. Webb prosecuted 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