Jury Finds Missouri Man Guilty of Conspiracy to Possess
With Intent to Distribute More than 5 Kilograms of Cocaine
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Yesterday, a jury found JULIUS LEE TURRENTINE, 48, from St. Louis, Missouri, guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. Turrentine was charged by Indictment, along with a co-defendant, Jimmie Eugene Johnson, Jr., on January 4, 2012. Johnson pled guilty to the Indictment on February 9, 2012.
According to the evidence at trial, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper stopped Turrentine and Johnson on the Turner Turnpike near Stroud, Oklahoma, on November 23, 2011. During the course of the traffic stop, the trooper engaged both Turrentine and Johnson in conversation concerning their travel plans. The trooper subsequently called for a K-9 unit to sniff the vehicle and the dog alerted to the presence of narcotics within the vehicle. A search under the hood of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of approximately eleven kilograms (or approximately 24 pounds) of cocaine hidden in a natural void between the firewall and the engine compartment in the vehicle. After a two day trial, the jury deliberated for approximately one and one half hours before returning a verdict of guilty.
At sentencing Turrentine faces no less than 20 years and up to life in federal prison. At sentencing, Johnson faces no less than 10 years and up to life in federal prison. Sentencing hearings will be set by the court in approximately 90 days.
This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andre’ B. Caldwell and Chris M. Stephens.