WORTHINGTON — The driver whose traffic stop initiated two Sept. 25 arrests is now facing criminal charges for the incident.
Jessica Johnson, 36, of Lakefield, was pulled over on Minnesota 60 after passing a Worthington police officer who recognized her and knew her driver's license had been suspended. There had also been a report of guns in her vehicle.
While talking with the officer, Johnson allegedly admitted that there were firearms in the trunk of the car but said she didn't know how many. A search of the vehicle revealed a Mossberg LR .22 rifle with no serial number, a small amount of marijuana shake, a Daisy BB gun and two 100-round boxes of .22LR ammunition.
A Mossberg .22 had been previously been reported stolen from Cottonwood County, and the reporting party had implicated someone named Simon.
Johnson initially said that the guns belonged to a man to whom she had given a ride, but declined to give a name. Later, though, she reportedly identified the man as "Simon," saying that while he was riding in her car, he had advised her to drive slowly because there were stolen guns in the vehicle and that he had held a gun to her head while she drove.
Law enforcement recognized "Simon" as Simon Gebrehiwot, who was previously arrested regarding this same matter.
Johnson has previously been convicted of a violent crime and is therefore ineligible to possess any ammunition or firearms.
Because of her cooperation, she was not booked into jail, but given a court summons to appear on charges of possession of stolen property, two counts of possession of a firearm after being convicted of a crime of violence and possession of a firearm with the serial number filed off — all felonies — as well as misdemeanor driving after license suspension.
The most serious charge — possession of stolen property — carries a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine. If convicted, Johnson will be sentenced based on criminal history. Her first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
Because she was summoned rather than arrested, Johnson has no mugshot.