Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

EAST ST. LOUIS - Antoine D. Johnson, Jr., 28, of East St. Louis, Illinois, entered a guilty plea to unlawfully possessing a loaded firearm after sustaining a felony conviction, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Steven D. Weinhoeft, announced today. Johnson faces up to 10 years in prison on the charge. Sentencing is scheduled for April 16, 2019, before United States District Judge Staci M. Yandle.

Article continues after sponsor message

The federal case against Johnson arose on February 18, 2018, after police received a report of multiple shots fired into a family-occupied home in Washington Park earlier that morning, with injuries to two adults. During the ensuing investigation, officers with the East St. Louis Police Department surrounded a vehicle as it sat idling in the drive-thru of the McDonald’s restaurant on State Street. Johnson was sitting in the front passenger seat of the vehicle holding a loaded Norinco SKS semi-automatic assault rifle. After Johnson and the driver refused to comply with commands to exit the vehicle, and upon observing Johnson’s rifle pointed in their direction, the officers opened fire. The driver attempted to flee but crashed the car into a pole beside the restaurant. Both occupants of the vehicle were arrested at the scene. Johnson sustained a gunshot wound to his hip and shrapnel damage to one of his eyes. The driver and the responding officers were uninjured.

At the time of his offense, Johnson was on probation in St. Clair County for a 2015 aggravated robbery conviction. Investigators were able to link both Johnson and the rifle to the Washington Park shooting, and as part of his plea deal with the United States, Johnson admitted firing 11 rounds into the residence on February 18 and agreed to plead guilty in St. Clair County Circuit Court to one count of aggravated battery with a firearm. His sentence, in that case, is expected to run consecutively to his federal sentence.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), 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 prosecution is the result of a collaborative investigation by the East St. Louis Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James G. Piper, Jr.

More like this:

May 21, 2024 - ISP Crackdown Nets 34 Arrests in East St. Louis Sweep

Jun 18, 2024 - ISP Combats Interstate Shootings With Technology

Jul 1, 2024 - Illinois Allocates $11M to Combat Carjackings and Vehicle Thefts

Jun 25, 2024 - Multi-Day Operation Nets 33 Criminal Charges in Metro East

Jun 7, 2024 - Alton Duo Charged In Drive-By Shooting