News and Press Releases

jury convicts springfield man of distributing crack cocaine

February 16, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man was convicted by a federal jury today of distributing crack cocaine.

Kirby Johnson, 27, of Springfield, was found guilty of four counts contained in a May 11, 2011, federal indictment.

Johnson was found guilty of one count of possessing crack cocaine with the intent to distribute and of three counts of distributing crack cocaine.

On March 10, 2010, Springfield police officers responded to a call from the manager of Johnson’s apartment, which was rented by his mother and shared with her and with his brother and co-defendant, Cory Johnson, 25. The apartment manager told officers that she was conducting an annual apartment inspection for insects and properly functioning smoke detectors when she discovered a baggie of marijuana on the kitchen floor and another baggie of marijuana inside a shoe box that was sitting on the stairs leading to the basement. The apartment manager told officers that she had mailed notices about the inspection to the occupants of the apartments; she had seen the unopened inspection notice on Johnson’s kitchen table.

When police officers recovered the marijuana, they also discovered approximately 227 grams of crack cocaine inside the shoe box.

Springfield officers made two undercover drug buys from Kirby Johnson in June 2010 and two undercover drug buys from Cory Johnson in July 2010.

Cory Johnson pleaded guilty on Sept. 28, 2011, to his role in the conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo., deliberated for about two and a half hours before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple, ending a trial that began Monday, Feb. 13, 2012.

Under federal statutes, Kirby and Cory Johnson are each subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan D. Freres and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Rush. It was investigated by the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.

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