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Dayton man sentenced for illegal gun possession

DAYTON — A Dayton man was sentenced to more than six years in federal prison Monday for possession of firearms as a felon.

Christopher Johnson, 45, received the term after entering a guilty plea to the charge in October 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Johnson had prior convictions from Boone County in 2001 for manufacturing meth or possession with intent to manufacture, as well as assault with a dangerous weapon in 2012, an aggravated misdemeanor, in Calhoun County.

Notes from the plea hearing indicate that officers were dispatched to a Dayton residence in May 2017 on reports of a suspicious person, later identified as Johnson, possibly stalking the female occupant. Officers located Johnson nearby in a barn, where they seized two guns — a Ruger .22 caliber pistol and a Jimenez Arms .22 caliber pistol — along with ammunition on his person.

Johnson was sentenced to 78 months in prison Monday by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after prison.

The case was brought about as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. The evidence-based program engages a broad spectrum of stakeholders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in communities, developing comprehensive solutions to address them. Project Safe Neighborhoods focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and re-entry programs to attempt to make lasting crime reductions.

The case was also part of Project Guardian, an initiative started in the fall of 2019 by the Department of Justice to continue success from past programs to reduce gun violence. The program attempts to make information sharing more seamless with agencies like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when someone is denied an attempt to purchase a firearm by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn S. Wehde and investigated by the Dayton Police Department, Webster County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

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