FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 17, 2013
HUNTINGTON CRACK COCAINE DEALER ENTERS GUILTY PLEA ON FEDERAL DRUG CHARGES
Michael Lashawn Johnson admits distributing nearly 2 kilos of crack cocaine
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Huntington man faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty on June 17 to drug distribution charges, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin. Michael Lashawn Johnson, also known as “Spank,” 34, pleaded guilty in federal court in Huntington to conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of crack cocaine.
Johnson sold crack cocaine during a conspiracy that began as early as 2006. During the scheme, Johnson obtained crack cocaine or powder cocaine from Columbus and brought it back to Huntington to sell. Johnson was a frequent source of supply of crack cocaine to other drug dealers in and around Huntington.
On December 6, 2010, Johnson’s vehicle was stopped along State Route 104 by members of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. During the traffic stop, an Ohio Highway Patrol police dog led a search of the defendant’s vehicle. The vehicle search yielded $33,000 in cash. On April 13, 2011, members of the Huntington Drug and Violent Crime Task Force used a confidential informant to conduct a controlled purchase of crack cocaine from Johnson. The defendant later sold the police informant 10.9 grams of crack cocaine in exchange for $700. On February 7, 2013, an arrest warrant was issued for Johnson. Members of the Huntington Drug Task Force arrested Johnson at his Huntington residence. The defendant was in possession of crack cocaine at the time of his arrest. Police also found items consistent with the production of crack cocaine inside of Johnson’s residence, along with a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol conducted a traffic stop of the defendant’s vehicle on April 29, 2006, in Jackson County, Ohio. Ohio law enforcement authorities found 515 grams of cocaine inside of Johnson’s vehicle during the traffic stop. Johnson and an associate were later convicted of a felony drug violation in the state of Ohio.
In total, Johnson is responsible for distributing approximately two kilograms of crack cocaine.
Johnson faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on September 16, 2013 by Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.
This case was investigated by the Huntington Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Gregory McVey is in charge of the prosecution.
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