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Johnson strikes plea deal over State St. extortion allegations

Devonere Johnson faces extortion charges after allegedly using threats to get money and services.
Devonere Johnson faces extortion charges after allegedly using threats to get money and services.((WMTV/Michelle Baik))
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 1:31 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The man accused of threatening two State Street businesses in exchange for free food, drinks, and money has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Devonere Johnson agreed to plead guilty to a single count of extortion, in exchange for having the other charge dropped, court records show.

Wednesday’s filing indicates Johnson is expected to receive a sentence time served plus 24 months of supervised release. He will also have to pay restitution to the victims.

The federal complaint filed state Johnson threated to smash the windows of one business unless he received a payment to his Venmo account, while a second complaint accused him of telling another business he would shut down and destroy another business unless he and others were given free food and drinks.

A grand jury indicted Johnson in early July.

On June 23, he was arrested outside Cooper’s Tavern after he entered with a megaphone and a baseball bat. His arrest sparked protests over the use of force while taking him into custody.

Johnson is also facing state charges for allegedly making threats against an unnamed State Street business. Two others, Gregg James Jr. and William Shanley are also facing the same charges.

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