CRIME

Police: Known gang member arrested after attempting to flee with illegal handgun

Jan 22, 2023, 3:33 PM
The handgun found near the suspect by police. (Salt Lake City Police Department)...
The handgun found near the suspect by police. (Salt Lake City Police Department)
(Salt Lake City Police Department)

SALT LAKE CITY — A known fugitive for gang-related crimes was booked by Salt Lake City Police officers after attempting to flee from them early Saturday morning.

Jose Leon Johnson, 42, was noticed by the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Gang Unit after they found a car associated with Johnson near 400 North Pamela Way at approximately 12:42 a.m., according to the police statement.

Johnson had several active arrest warrants, was a restricted person, and is a member of the La Raza gang.

According to SLCPD, Salt Lake City Police Department’s Pioneer Division Bike Squad officers followed Johnson until he got on to Interstate 215, where he drove southbound.

“Officers safely followed the vehicle into South Salt Lake and conducted a felony traffic stop near 4010 South 300 East,” reads the SLCPD statement. “After getting out of his car, Johnson tried running away from officers but ultimately surrendered.”

Johnson allegedly threw a black loaded Springfield XDS 9mm semi-auto handgun on the ground before he was arrested.

According to the affidavit, arresting officers found methamphetamine on the visor of the passenger seat of the car. Police searched Johnson and found a glass pipe containing residue.

“The handgun serial number was searched through the national database, which returned as stolen,” reads the affidavit. Johnson said the handgun was not his.

Johnson was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for felony charges of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, theft of a firearm, and misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police are asking for Johnson to be denied bail as he has been charged and “convicted several times for being in possession of a firearm by restricted person, felony discharge of a firearm, and several other violent offenses,” according to the affidavit.

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Police: Known gang member arrested after attempting to flee with illegal handgun