Federal Jury Convicts Minneapolis Felon of Illegal Possession of a Firearm, Ammunition

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A federal jury convicted a Minneapolis man for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition after a shooting incident that took place in broad daylight, announced Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk.

Following a four-day trial before Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright, Johnnie Lamar Haynes, 33, was convicted of one count of possessing a firearm as a felon and one count of possessing ammunition as a felon.

According to the evidence presented at trial, on August 5, 2019, Minneapolis police officers responded to a shots-fired call at a gas station near Lowry Avenue and Logan Avenue North in Minneapolis. Upon arrival, officers found 11 discharged cartridge casings on the street in front of the gas station. Video surveillance footage showed Haynes interacting with two men inside the gas station. After leaving the gas station the two other men got in a vehicle and drove off. Minutes later, the two men circled the block in their vehicle and returned to the gas station. Haynes then began shooting at the vehicle as it drove off. A nearby business was in the line of Haynes’s gunfire and was struck by multiple rounds. Surveillance video footage from the business captured the bullets entering the building, causing employees to duck and take shelter.

“This defendant discharged a firearm near a busy intersection in broad daylight, showing total disregard for human life,” said Acting U.S. Attorney W. Anders Folk. “This type of brazen gun violence is unacceptable in our communities and must be stopped.”

Because Haynes has prior felony convictions in Hennepin County, he is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time. Haynes faces up to ten years in prison on each count. At sentencing, a federal district court judge will determine the sentence accounting for the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Minneapolis Police Department.

This case was tried by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calhoun-Lopez.

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