NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The head of a gun trafficking conspiracy that funneled guns from Virginia to New York has been sentenced to six years in prison.
38-year-old Joseph Alexander Johnson, who was arrested in Newport News back in 2018, used several young women to straw purchase the guns, according to the Department of Justice. Johnson marketed the weapons on Facebook and sold them to many felon and gang members in Brooklyn, prosecutors say.
He was later convicted on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and aiding and abetting a straw purchase firearm transaction. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Jackson prosecuted the case in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Johnson was helped by 39-year-old Tysohn Stevens, Brooklyn, prosecutors say. Stevens pleaded guilty to his role in the operation and is set to be sentenced on February 24.
Investigators say Johnson and Stevens bought more than 40 guns, including AR-style guns with large capacity magazines, from Virginia dealers between April 2017 and May 2018 and trafficked them up the I-95 corridor, known as the “Iron Pipeline.”