Man who led Fort Payne police on chase gets federal prison time

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A man who led authorities on a dangerous chase in April was sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison Tuesday.

Dennis John Johnson, 41, pleaded guilty in November to being a convicted felon in possession of a pistol, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Johnson had the pistol with him when he led Fort Payne police on a chase that ended in Chattooga County, Ga., on April 9, prosecutors said.

Fort Payne police tried to pull Johnson over on U.S. Highway 11 because the license plate on his pickup truck was registered to a different vehicle. In the ensuing chase, police said Johnson reached speeds around 100 miles per hour, ran vehicle off narrow roads and swerved toward police vehicles.

At one point, authorities said Johnson aimed his truck at Hammondville’s police chief as he tried to drop a stop strip on the road. A Fort Payne police car hit the strip, seriously injuring one officer, police said.

Johnson led authorities through Valley Head and Mentone before he was caught running from the truck on Georgia Highway 48 in Chattooga County.

Johnson’s sentence also includes three years of supervised release.

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