Metro-East News

Metro-east man gets prison for possessing semiautomatic rifle

A 25-year-old East St. Louis man was sentenced to more than three years in prison on Wednesday in the Southern District of Illinois for possessing a semiautomatic rifle as a previously convicted felon.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, James Antwon Johnson had been convicted of delivering drugs within 1,000 feet of a park in Madison County. Then in December 2015, Johnson was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. Authorities said Johnson had a 7.62-caliber, SKS-style, semiautomatic rifle, ammunition and a firearm magazine capable of holding 30 rounds of ammunition.

Johnson pleaded guilty to the felony charge in May. The federal court ordered Johnson to serve more than three years in prison and three years of supervised release, and fined him $500 fine.

The case was investigated by the East St. Louis Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William Coonan.