Share This Page

Washington man says former police chief coerced him to commit drive-by shooting

| Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, 12:27 p.m.

A Washington man apologized for selling illegal firearms and opening fire on a parked car, saying his crimes were driven by circumstances, a former police chief and federal investigators.

Timothy D. Johnson, 41, said the FBI took advantage of his financial problems to talk him into making the sales.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon said that if anything, the government's filings in his case “significantly understates” Johnson's criminal activity and that his excuses for committing the crimes are “incredible and disingenuous.”

She sentenced Johnson to five years in prison and two years of probation.

Johnson pleaded guilty in October to 11 firearm charges, including selling a firearm to a convicted felon and 10 counts of possessing and selling silencers and a machine gun.

Johnson said former East Washington police Chief Donald Abraham Solomon, 56, coerced him into the drive-by shooting to intimidate Solomon's former girlfriend. At the time, Johnson was living with Solomon's ex-wife in their house.

FBI Special Agent James Shearer testified that Solomon and Johnson were friends and that Johnson was recruiting a team to commit a home invasion on the house where Solomon's former girlfriend resided. Solomon, as police chief, offered to shield the team while they robbed the house and intimidated the occupants, Shearer said.

Solomon pleaded guilty in January to providing protection and Tasers to undercover agents he thought were drug runners. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 3.

Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or bbowling@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.