Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today that KERMERIC JOHNSON, age 33, of Chalmette, pled guilty to conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to court documents, in October 2015, JOHNSON received a jail phone call from a local heroin dealer and co-conspirator, KEITH FOSTER. FOSTER informed JOHNSON that a confidential informant had caused him and a second co-conspirator to be arrested. FOSTER then told JOHNSON where to locate a firearm and instructed JOHNSON to “take care” of the informant. JOHNSON agreed to do so and, in subsequent jail calls, stated that he was attempting to locate the informant.
On October 29, 2015, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies surveilled JOHNSON’s residence, and observed JOHNSON and an unknown male, exit the residence. Deputies observed JOHNSON carrying two items, one wrapped in a blue shirt, and the other in a red blanket. JOHNSON placed both items inside the trunk of a vehicle before he and the other male drove away. Deputies conducted a traffic stop and obtained a search warrant for the vehicle. In the trunk of the vehicle, deputies found a Smith and Wesson, 9mm caliber semi-automatic handgun wrapped in the shirt and a Marlin Model Glenfield 65, .22 caliber rifle, wrapped in the blanket.
JOHNSON faces a possible maximum sentence of twenty-five years imprisonment, and/or a fine of $250,000, and up to five years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk set sentencing for June 29, 2017.
Acting U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the ATF New Orleans Division Office and the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office for investigating this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nolan D. Paige is in charge of the prosecution.