Charleston, South Carolina ––– Acting United States Attorney M. Rhett DeHart announced today that Ricky DeWayne Johnson, 35, of Moncks Corner, has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison, after pleading guilty to assaulting two members of the United States Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force and unlawfully possessing a firearm.
“Anyone foolish enough to point a gun at federal law enforcement yet fortunate enough to survive should know that they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Acting U.S. Attorney DeHart. “Our law enforcement officers – local, state, and federal – put their lives on the line each day to protect and serve the public. Our office will never tolerate criminals threatening or shooting at our brave men and women in uniform.”
Evidence presented in court showed that, just after 2:00 AM on March 22, 2018, a deputy with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop a truck for traffic violations. While the truck initially slowed and pulled into a gas station parking lot, it quickly pulled out and led the deputy on a high-speed chase into a residential subdivision. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Johnson, made a U-turn in a neighborhood and fired a .45 caliber pistol at the pursuing deputy. Johnson continued driving until he made an abrupt stop, where he pointed the handgun at the deputy who had exited his vehicle and had drawn his weapon. When the deputy took cover, Johnson sped off and made his way to a cul-de-sac in the neighborhood, where he exited the vehicle and ran from the deputy.
Upon searching the truck, which had been stolen, deputies located inside a spent casing for a .45 caliber round and a .22 caliber handgun. Another spent casing was discovered nearby in the street. After deputies established a search perimeter, they learned that a van had been stolen around where the suspect had fled on foot. Hours later, two members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force located Johnson in downtown Summerville, activated blue lights, and pulled up behind Johnson in an attempt to apprehend him. Johnson attempted to flee and, during the ensuing foot chase, pulled a handgun from his jacket and pointed it at the pursuing Marshals. The Marshals opened fire at Johnson and brought him down. Investigators recovered a .45 caliber handgun loaded with 4 rounds of ammunition from Johnson who was treated for a gunshot wound in a local hospital and taken into custody.
Federal law prohibits Johnson from possessing firearms and ammunition, as he was previously convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than one year. Johnson’s criminal history includes prior convictions for second degree burglary in 2009 and 2010, grand larceny in 2009 and 2013, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in 2014, financial transaction card theft in 2009, breaking into motor vehicles in 2010, and failure to stop for blue lights in 2014 and 2015.
United States District Court Judge Margaret B. Seymour sentenced Johnson to the statutory maximum of 30 years in federal prison, to be followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the United States Marshals, the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), and the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office. The Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to secure Johnson’s plea.
Assistant United States Attorney Chris Schoen prosecuted the case.
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Dylann Storm Roof
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