Assault Rifle, Handguns, and Narcotics Recovered from Home of Convicted Felon on Electronic Monitoring

Jan 29, 2024Press Release


COOK COUNTY, IL – A convicted felon awaiting trial on Electronic Monitoring for murder is now charged with additional felonies after Sheriff’s investigators recovered multiple firearms, including an assault rifle and a handgun with an auto switch, along with ammunition and suspect narcotics from his residence, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

On Jan. 19, Sheriff’s Electronic Monitoring investigators conducted a safety compliance check at Bertell Johnson’s residence in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood after they learned he had posted photos on social media of himself carrying a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun modified with a switch that renders the firearm fully automatic.

Johnson, 30, is a convicted felon who was placed on electronic monitoring in May 2021 as a condition of his bond while awaiting trial on charges including First-Degree Murder, First-Degree Attempt Murder, and Aggravated Battery/Discharge of a Firearm. Johnson has previous convictions for gun and drug offenses.

During their search, investigators recovered an assault rifle, three handguns – including one with a defaced serial number and an auto-switch attached – one high-capacity 50-round drum magazine – an extended 9mm magazine, two empty 9mm magazines, nearly 150 live rounds of ammunition of various calibers, 16 grams of suspected cocaine, approximately 300 grams of suspected cannabis, 78 suspected oxycodone pills, and approximately $4,000 in cash.

“Mr. Johnson was caught with multiple firearms, ammunition, and a drum magazine while on EM for murder,” Sheriff Dart said. “This was an unacceptable risk to the safety of the community, and perfectly illustrates why I have for years argued that individuals charged with violent crimes should not be placed on electronic monitoring.”

Johnson appeared at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on Jan. 20, where a judge ordered him held in custody at the Cook County Jail on additional felony charges of four counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon Possessed by a Felon, a Class 2 Felony, one count of Unlawful Use of a Weapon/Machine Gun/Automatic Weapon, a Class 2 Felony, Manufacturing/Delivering Cannabis – 30-500 Grams, a Class 3 Felony, Possession of a Controlled Substance Cocaine 15+ grams, a Class 1 Felony, and Manufacturing Oxycodone 50-100 Grams, a Class 1 Felony.

The public is reminded that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.