Federal prison time for York City man

Sean Philip Cotter

A man picked up in the Southside gang sweep two years ago has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Harrisburg.

Jermaine "Face" Johnson, 42, was charged federally in September 2014 for being a felon in possession of a firearm, which is in itself a felony.

He pleaded guilty Oct. 5, 2015, according to court documents. He was sentenced Tuesday to an amount of time in federal prison about in the middle of the sentencing range, according to the release.

This Southside gang graffiti taunted law enforcement, but a joint investigation into Southside that led to federal indictments against 21 purported gang members disproved that taunting claim.
(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Attorney's Office)

In prosecuting the case, the U.S. Attorney's Office cited Johnson's criminal history as a reason to make the sentence longer. The office says that in October 2013, Johnson was shot and then at the hospital gave police a fake name as he refused to cooperate with them. Later that month, police found .40-caliber ammunition in his car, at which point he gave another fake name, the release states. It also says he has multiple convictions for drug crimes.

This case ended up in federal court because it was part of a two-year probe by city officers, federal investigators and federal prosecutors into York City's Southside gang that led to federal indictments against 21 purported gang members. Federal sentences carry more prison time than the local versions of the charges would.

How York City crippled a criminal empire

Racketeering, weapons and drug-dealing indictments were handed down in September 2014. Johnson did not face racketeering charges in connection with the gang.

Police have said Southside used violence and intimidation to protect its drug turf.

— Sean Cotter covers York City for The York Dispatch. Contact him at scotter@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @SPCotterYD.

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