Felon in possession gets max time

Published 10:53 am Wednesday, February 2, 2022

An Arkansas man was sentenced on Tuesday to the statutory maximum 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, Antonio Leshun Johnson, Age 44, of Elaine, Arkansas, was found in possession of a firearm by Hernando City police officers in May of 2018. Officers initially made contact with Johnson because his vehicle was obstructing traffic on Commerce Street. During that contact, an officer patted Johnson down for safety and found a loaded Taurus Model PT 845 .45 caliber handgun in his pants pocket. Officers subsequently found a loaded .45 caliber magazine in the driver’s door and a loaded .45 caliber magazine in the trunk. A duffel bag on the back seat of the vehicle contained an Olympic Arms Model K23P 5.56 mm pistol with added vertical foregrip, laser, rail light, and ammunition casing catcher.

Johnson had a lengthy criminal history with felony convictions dating back to the 1990’s. In 1998, Johnson was convicted in California of two counts of robbery and assault with a firearm. In 2004, he was again convicted in the Northern District of California of Armed Robbery and Felon in Possession of a Firearm and received a ten-year sentence for those offenses. More recently, in 2019, Johnson was convicted in the Western District of Tennessee for three counts of Bank Robbery, Using a Firearm in a Crime of Violence and Kidnapping. Johnson received a sentence of 432 months for those offenses.

In announcing the maximum ten-year sentence in the instant case, U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock acknowledged that the sentence was intended to help promote respect for the law, deter criminal conduct, and protect the public.

“Removing violent armed criminals from our streets is a key goal of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program and a priority for this office,” remarked U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner. “As always, we appreciate the cooperation and assistance of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to help meet this goal and make our communities safer.”

“The collaborative effort of federal and local law enforcement, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office, has led to the lengthy sentencing of this career criminal and is another example of our commitment to fight gun violence,” said ATF New Orleans Field Division Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn. “ATF will continue to work tirelessly to protect our communities and hold accountable those who threaten our safety.”

The case was investigated by the Hernando Police Department, the Desoto County Sheriff’s Office, and ATF. Assistant U.S. Attorney Parker S. Kline prosecuted the case.