FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2012
El Dorado, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas announced that Cedric Johnson, age 35, of Camden, Arkansas pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine. Judge Harry F. Barnes accepted the guilty plea in U.S. District Court in El Dorado, Arkansas. Johnson faces a sentence of 10 years to life imprisonment. Further, $720,070 was forfeited in connection with this case.
United States Attorney Conner Eldridge commented, “We continue to remain focused on prosecuting large-scale drug trafficking cases in South Arkansas and throughout the Western District of Arkansas. These crimes take a toll on our communities, and we are dedicated to holding those that engage in the drug trade accountable.”
In his plea agreement, Johnson admitted to conspiring with numerous individuals to distribute up to 150 kilograms of cocaine in and around the Camden, Arkansas area beginning as early as 2004 and continuing on until June 5, 2010. On June 5th, 2010, Arkansas State Police stopped Johnson for a traffic violation and his consent to search the vehicle revealed a large bag containing $330,070.00 in bundled cash derived from illegal drug trafficking. Later, police executed a court-authorized search warrant at a local bank in the Camden, Arkansas area where Johnson maintained a safe-deposit box. Law enforcement officers located and seized an additional $390,000 in currency that was proceeds of illegal narcotics trafficking.
Johnson forfeited a total of $720,070 in U.S. currency that was seized from him as being proceeds of illegal narcotics trafficking. This money was shared with the local law enforcement agencies that participated in this investigation for their use in narcotics investigations and training, as follows:
∙ Camden Police Department received $254,255.78
∙ Magnolia Police Department received $75,260.71
∙ El Dorado Police Department received $75,260.71
∙ Texas Department of Public Safety received $65,971.76
∙ Coppell, Texas Police Department received $65,971.76
∙ Union County Sheriff’s Department received $9,744.06
∙ Columbia County Sheriff’s Department received $9,744.06
∙ Crossett Police Department received $9,744.06
Johnson was indicted on February 24, 2011 for conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance, in violation of Title 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(A)(ii), and Title 21 U.S.C. § 846. As mentioned above, this charge carries a punishment range of 10 years to life imprisonment and up to a $10,000,000 fine.
This case was investigated by the local law enforcement agencies mentioned above in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Quinn prosecuted the case for the United States.
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