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Press Release

Germantown Felon Sentenced to Over 10 Years in Prison for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin and for the Illegal Possession of a Gun

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Jelani Omar Johnson, age 34, of Germantown, Maryland today to six years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin.  Judge Grimm ordered that this sentence be served consecutive to the 51 month sentence Johnson previously received for being a felon in possession of a gun, which was charged in a separate case.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William P. McMullan of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.  

According to his plea agreement, from June through August 2013, Johnson conspired with others to distribute heroin in the Germantown area.  Johnson had other conspirators drive him to locations in Montgomery County, where he distributed the heroin, charging $100 to $120 per bag.  Johnson traveled to Washington, D.C. and to Richmond, Virginia to obtain the heroin.  Johnson cut the heroin he obtained with Xanax and other substances to increase the quantity of heroin.

According to documents filed in the case, at least two deaths occurred after individuals ingested heroin that Johnson had distributed.  Statements made by Johnson suggest that he was aware that cutting agents he had added to the heroin were causing harm and he didn’t care. During his participation in the drug conspiracy, he possessed with intent to distribute between 80 and 100 grams of heroin.

According to his plea agreement in the gun case, Johnson contacted a Montgomery County Police Department confidential source and discussed obtaining a gun from the source.  Johnson admitted that on October 1, 2013, he purchased a 9mm semi-automatic pistol from an undercover Montgomery County Police officer and the source, paying for the gun with cash and approximately one gram of heroin.  Johnson had previously been convicted of a felony and was prohibited from possessing a gun.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the ATF and Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mara Zusman Greenberg, Deborah A. Johnston, and Lindsay Eyler Kaplan, who prosecuted the case.

Updated January 12, 2016

Drug Trafficking