MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Derrick W. Johnson, 22, Madison, Wis., was found guilty yesterday of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The jury reached its verdict after less than three hours of deliberation, following one day of testimony in U.S. District Court in Madison.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Johnson was arrested on June 17, 2017, outside a bar in downtown Madison by police officers who were aware there was an outstanding arrest warrant for Johnson. After he was placed under arrest, Johnson was searched and found to be in possession of hydrocodone pills and a loaded 9mm handgun.
Johnson pleaded guilty on January 16 to possessing the hydrocodone pills with the intent to distribute them. He admitted that he was going to sell the pills.
U.S. District Judge William M. Conley scheduled sentencing for April 19, 2018. Johnson faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on the drug charge, and a mandatory minimum penalty of five years on the gun charge. Federal law requires that the penalty for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime be served consecutive to any sentence imposed on the drug charge.
The charges against Johnson are the result of an investigation by the Madison Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Corey Stephan and Julie Pfluger.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.