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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 15, 2020

Cedar Rapids Man Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Unlawfully Possessing a Loaded Gun and Narcotics

Previously convicted of a felony offense and domestic violence

A Cedar Rapids man who was driving while in possession of a 9mm Beretta handgun under his seat was sentenced today to five years in federal prison.

Antonio Donnell Johnson, age 32, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after pleading guilty on November 7, 2019, to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. 

In a plea agreement, Johnson admitted that, after police pulled him over for driving while barred, he provided a false name to law enforcement.  Officers found a loaded 9mm Beretta handgun under his seat and marijuana and ecstasy on his person.  He admitted to smoking marijuana and possessing the gun.  He was prohibited from possessing a firearm because he was previously convicted of both a felony and a crime of domestic violence.

Johnson was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  He was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment.  He must serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Dupuich and investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department and the Cedar Rapids Safe Streets Task Force.  The task force is composed of representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).  PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/ag/page/file/1217186/download.

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 19-CR-108-CJW.

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Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated May 15, 2020