(STL.News) – U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Barber has sentenced Johnny Lee Thornton, Jr. (27, Fort Myers) to four years and seven months in federal prison for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The court also ordered him to forfeit the firearm used in the offense. Thornton had pleaded guilty on October 23, 2019.
According to court documents, on February 8, 2019, officers from the Fort Myers Police Department located a loaded firearm under a parked vehicle that Thornton had been standing near. Subsequent forensic analysis of the firearm linked it to Thornton. As a previously convicted felon, Thornton is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
This case was jointly investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Fort Myers Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Trent Reichling.
This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.