GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — More than two years after being indicted and more than a year as a fugitive, former Johnson City businessman Sean Williams was arraigned Tuesday in U.S. District Court on federal charges of ammunition possession by a felon.
Court documents show Williams, 51, pleaded not guilty and a jury trial date of Aug. 22 was set in the case. Greeneville attorney David Leonard was appointed to represent Williams, who waived his right to a detention hearing and is now in federal custody.
U.S. marshals had actively sought Williams for more than a year when he was arrested on separate charges at a riverside park in Cullowhee, N.C. early the morning of April 29. Williams faces charges of cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking related to that incident, in which Western Carolina University police allegedly found more than 12 ounces of cocaine and 14 ounces of meth in a vehicle he was in.
The federal indictment of Williams, taken out April 13, 2021 by then Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kateri L. Dahl, charges Williams with possessing a total of 257 rounds of five different types of ammunition, “which had been shipped and transported in interstate commerce.”
Because Williams had previously been convicted of a crime punishable by more than a year in jail, that possession constituted a felony.
The former owner of Glass and Concrete Contracting LLC, Williams had a principal business office at his apartment on the fifth floor of 200 East Main Street.
An investigation by the Johnson City Police Department (JCPD) began Sept. 19, 2020 after a woman fell five stories from the window of Williams’s residence there. Mikayla Evans survived that fall.
A note in JCPD detective Toma Sparks’s case file says that on Sept. 23, a “search warrant was executed and multiple rounds of ammunition was seized.”
The federal indictment states that a grand jury charges “on or about September 23, 2020, within the Eastern District of Tennessee, (Williams) … did knowingly possess ammunition.”
Possession of firearms or ammunition by a felon is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Dahl, who has filed a federal lawsuit against Johnson City and the Johnson City Police Department for retaliatory discharge and due process violations, was replaced as the prosecutor on the case Aug. 2, 2021. Meghan Gomez became the counsel of record, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas McCauley was admitted as a co-counsel July 30, 2021.
Dahl, who worked with the JCPD through a memorandum of understanding (MOU), was informed on June 25, 2021 that the JCPD wouldn’t renew the annual MOU, which was set to expire the next week. The termination date was extended to the end of July so Dahl could transition her case files to other attorneys.