Home Local & Regional News Sheriff’s Office Conducts Successful Operation, Arrests Felon in Possession of Illegal Firearms

Sheriff’s Office Conducts Successful Operation, Arrests Felon in Possession of Illegal Firearms


In a high-risk operation conducted May 18th, detectives from the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, supported by the agency’s Special Weapons and Tactics team, executed a search warrant at a residence in Herlong, resulting in the arrest of Brian Keith Johnson Jr., a 41-year-old convicted felon from Sacramento. Acting on received information, law enforcement officials discovered Johnson’s illegal cache of firearms, including a loaded short-barreled AR-style rifle with armor-piercing rounds and a sawed-off shotgun, all in violation of his felon status.

Detectives from the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office had received information that Johnson was living in Herlong and was in possession of illegal firearms.

On Thursday Detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence where Johnson was living. Due to the high-risk nature of the warrant, the Lassen County Sheriff’s Special Weapons and Tactics team executed the warrant on the same day.

“The SWAT team utilized their armored rescue vehicle and called on the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office drone team,” explains LCSO Sergeant Dustin Russell. “The team was able to safely call Johnson out of the residence and detain him without incident.”

“Inside Johnson’s bedroom, detectives located a .223 caliber short-barreled AR-style rifle beside Johnson’s bed. The AR was loaded with a round in the chamber and had a 40-round magazine attached with 35 armor-piercing rounds inside of it. An additional 40-round magazine was located, loaded with 30 rounds of armor-piercing bullets. The AR did not have a serial number and was determined to be a ghost gun.”

Firearms and ammunition seized during the execution of last Thursday’s warrant in Herlong.

According to Russell a sawed off .410 shotgun was located inside Johnson’s closet. Multiple boxes of ammunition were also located inside, including .357 SIG ammunition.

“During the investigation, detectives recovered a .357 SIG handgun at another location, which is believed to be Johnson’s. The handgun was also determined to be a ghost gun.”

The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office received a Gun Violence Reduction Program grant from the California Department of Justice in 2022 which funded a detective, who is dedicated to investigating and seizing guns and ammunition from persons who are prohibited from possessing them. This case was a direct result from the LCSO’s GVRP Detective.

According to official records, Johnson was charged with multiple offenses, including three counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition, one count of possessing an illegal assault weapon, two counts of possessing a short-barreled rifle, and two counts of possessing a ghost gun.

Bail was set at $30,000.00 and the case was referred to the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office. The community is reminded that all individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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