Business Burglar Receives 35-Year Sentence

For Immediate Release
Monday, August 20, 2012
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that James I. Johnson received an 80 year sentence; the last 45 years were suspended, after entering pleas of guilty to ten counts of business burglary and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He also received five years of supervised probation upon his release.

Guest stated, “Johnson is a career criminal who broke and entered numerous businesses, stealing property and money. Our business community is the backbone of our economy and we cannot allow criminals like Johnson to interfere with commerce and job creation.”

Guest added, “Johnson’s actions were egregious and showed callous disregard for the safety, rights and property of others. His sentence was justified by his actions and his extensive criminal history that dates back to the late eighties.”

Johnson’s most recent crime spree began in September 2011, and continued until his capture in February 2012. During that time Johnson broke into several businesses in Ridgeland, stealing cash, furniture and art work. On the morning of February 5, 2012, a Ridgeland police officer noticed a man exit his vehicle in the area where the burglaries took place.

The officer stopped and questioned Johnson who told the officers he was jogging. However, the officer noticed that he was not sweating or breathing heavily. The officer asked Johnson for permission to search his car. Johnson agreed to the search, and the officer found two pair of gloves, bolt cutters, a pry bar, a hammer and other tools that were believed to be used in the burglaries.

Initially, Johnson denied being involved, but then confessed to the burglaries when several of the stolen items were found in his Jackson residence after the Ridgeland Police Department obtained a search warrant.

Guest concluded, “The Ridgeland Police Department did an outstanding job of investigating, apprehending and providing our office with the evidence needed to send Johnson to jail for a long time. We believe that strong sentences, like this one, will send a message that we are simply not going to allow crime to go unanswered in Madison and Rankin Counties.”

District Attorney Michael Guest was sworn into office in January 2008 and represents the Twentieth Judicial District, which encompasses Madison and Rankin Counties.

Name: James I. Johnson
Date of Birth:11/13/68
Address: 178 Whitfield Street, Jackson, MS