Tramale Johnson Facing New Weapons Charge In Federal Court

Saturday, October 26, 2013
 Tramale Cornelius Johnson
Tramale Cornelius Johnson

A 25-year-old Chattanooga man who got one federal sentence in 2010 when he was 22 is now facing a new federal indictment.

The new charge says Tramale Cornelius Johnson was selling drugs and was armed with a weapon when he was arrested on Aug. 24.

In 2010, Johnson admitted owning a machine gun (or "sten" gun). He was given a sentence of 21 months.

Johnson would have faced a stiffer sentence. However, prosecutor Perry Piper admitted the government's evidence was weak trying to tie him to a home invasion about the time of his arrest with the machine gun.

The prosecutor said the government had a preliminary report stating that the machine gun used in the home invasion was the same as the one owned by Johnson.

He said Tim Moore was among those taking part in the home invasion "which netted absolutely nothing" and Moore previously said Johnson took part. However, he said Johnson was a gang member who had apparently been threatened by another gang member and had quit cooperating with the government.

Chattanooga Police on March 17, 2010, had gone to the home of Johnson's sister at 811 Gillespie Road looking for a car involved in an ongoing shooting investigation. Observers found the car they were looking for in the driveway. It had several bullet holes in it.

The house itself had been shot several days prior in at least two separate drive-by shootings and had bullet holes on three sides of the house.

Police said Johnson and others were in the house. After the machine gun was found in the attic, Johnson admitted it was his. He declined to say who he had gotten it from.

After his 2010 federal prison term, prosecutors had filed against him for violating the terms of his probation. 

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