ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota man with suspected ties to white supremacist groups has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for possessing an assault rifle.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle on Wednesday sentenced 31-year-old Samuel James Johnson of Austin on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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Johnson pleaded guilty in June. In his plea agreement, Johnson admitted he possessed a semi-automatic assault rifle on Nov. 4, 2010.

Because he is a felon, federal law bars Johnson from possessing firearms or ammunition at any time.

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Johnson’s criminal history includes convictions in Mower County for attempted robbery, robbery, possession of a short-barreled shotgun, and sale of a simulated controlled substance.

Prosecutors say because of his record, Johnson faced a minimum of 15 years in federal prison.

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