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Asbestos contractor headed to prison on gun charge

The Buffalo contractor at the center of a failed asbestos-removal project is going to prison on an unrelated weapons charge.

Rai Johnson, 36, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to 26 months in prison. Johnson had previously pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

Prosecutors say Johnson was discovered in possession of two firearms – a Mossberg shotgun and a Brazilian rifle – in December of last year.

A former asbestos-removal contractor, Johnson had previously pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the Clean Air Act for his role in the bungled Kensington Heights project on Fillmore Avenue in 2009.

Arcara noted that Johnson was given a “break” in the asbestos case – he was sentenced to time served – and still chose to break the law again.

His sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.