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Fugitive wanted in connection with gun case

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Posted at 10:37 AM, Nov 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-25 17:02:18-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - An arrest warrant was issued for Tucsonan Philip Johnson, who is wanted in connection with a case involving 32 confiscated guns.

According to state attorney general Mark Brnovich, Johnson was convicted of fraudulent schemes and artifices, illegally conducting a criminal enterprise and conspiracy for allegedly defrauding Pima County Superior Court to obtain guns as a prohibited possessor.

In early 2017, Johnson allegedly recruited Emanuel Simpson to collect 32 guns held in police custody that had been confiscated in a previous criminal court case. Johnson helped Simpson file an affidavit claiming that he owned the guns.

Simpson picked up the guns from Tucson Police Department in a van provided by Johnson, then drove the van with Johnson following. Police arrested Simpson before Johnson took back the van.

In August 2019, Johnson fled from the courthouse before the jury returned verdicts against him. He faces a sentence of 10 to 35 years in prison.