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January 22, 2023


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SLCPD Gang Unit Makes Fugitive Apprehension, Recovers Illegal Gun

SALT LAKE CITY — This weekend, the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Gang Unit and Pioneer Division Bike Squad safely arrested a 42-year-old fugitive and recovered an illegally possessed handgun.

This investigation started on Saturday January 22, 2023, at 12:42 a.m. when officers and detectives assigned to the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Gang Unit found a car associated with Jose Leon Johnson near 400 North Pamela Way.

Johnson is a restricted person, which means he is not allowed to have access to any firearms. Officers and detectives also learned Johnson had several active arrest warrants.

Working with the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Pioneer Division Bike Squad, officers safely followed Johnson. When officers tried to arrest Johnson, he drove off.

One of the Pioneer Bike Squad officers saw Johnson drive south on Interstate 215.

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

Before he could be taken into custody, Johnson pulled out a firearm and threw it on the ground.

Officers safely recovered the gun and collected it as evidence.

Officers took Johnson to the Salt Lake County Metro Jail and booked him on numerous felony and misdemeanor charges, including being a Restricted Person in Possession of a Firearm.

A photo of the firearm officers recovered is being released. Media may use this photo with proper credit to the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Charges are only allegations, and every arrested person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Salt Lake City Police Department’s Gang Unit is responsible for investigating gang-related crimes that occur within the city’s jurisdiction. The unit consists of highly trained uniformed officers and detectives who work collaboratively with patrol divisions and other specialty squads within the SLCPD to gather information and focus on preventing gang and gun violence through education, prevention and enforcement.

In October 2022, SLCPD Chief Mike Brown and Mayor Erin Mendenhall released an update to the SLCPD  Crime Control Plan to lower crime, improve response times, fill authorized staffing levels for sworn positions and to continue building community relationships.

The strategies outlined in the Revised Crime Control Plan include expanding recruitment and hiring efforts, developing a violent criminal apprehension team, implementing the Police Civilian Response Team, expanding the department’s call diversion program and its online reporting capabilities.

No further information on this case is being released. Neither the PIO nor the On-Duty Watch Commander are available for interviews.

The Salt Lake City Police Department is not the custodian of record for jail booking photos. Utah Code 17-22-30 mostly prohibits the release of jail booking photos. Generally, a jail booking photo can only be released by the custodian of record after a conviction or when law enforcement determines the person is a fugitive or an imminent threat to a person or public safety. In Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office is the custodian of record for jail booking photos.