Ascension Parish Drug Dealer Sentenced to Federal Prison
United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson sentenced ARTHUR JOHNSON, JR. a/k/a “Nelson Howard,” “Wood,” and “Dread,” age 42, of Gonzales, to 116 months in federal prison following his convictions of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, cocaine base, and heroin and unlawful use of a communications facility. The Court further sentenced JOHNSON to5 years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment. JOHNSON was also ordered to forfeit $109,000.
JOHNSON was charged as a result of an extensive federal, state, and local investigation aimed at a drug trafficking network based in Ascension Parish and covering Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. The drug trafficking organization, led by JOHNSON, distributed multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin in and around Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Ascension Parish Louisiana.
Throughout the period of the conspiracy, JOHNSON was the organizer and leader of a drug trafficking organization consisting of more than five participants. Under JOHNSON’s leadership, JOHNSON’s drug trafficking organization was responsible for the distribution of multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin in and around Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Ascension Parish, Louisiana. JOHNSON used public and private places and cell telephones to arrange and carry out the exchange of cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, and the proceeds from the sales thereof.
U.S. Attorney Fremin stated, “This conviction and sentence highlights our commitment to working with state and local law enforcement to remove dangerous criminals from our streets. It will continue to be a top priority for our office to prosecute organized drug dealers and disrupt and dismantle their organizations. I want to thank our prosecutors, the FBI Baton Rouge Area Gang Task Force, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Department, and the Baton Rouge Police Department.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric Rommal stated, “The reign and terror of Arthur Johnson and his fellow co-conspirators ended today due to the hard work and dedication of all federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies involved in this multi-state narcotics investigation. Their tireless efforts led to the removal of large amounts of crack cocaine, cocaine, and heroin, from Ascension Parish and surrounding areas which prevented countless overdose deaths.”
The investigation is another effort by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Program which was established in 1982 to mount a comprehensive attack against organized drug traffickers. Today, the OCDETF Program is the centerpiece of the United States Attorney General’s drug strategy to reduce the availability of drugs by disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations and money laundering organizations and related criminal enterprises. The OCDETF Program operates nationwide and combines the resources and unique expertise of numerous federal, state, and local agencies in a coordinated attack against major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.
This OCDETF operation was investigated by the FBI Baton Rouge Capitol Area Gang Task Force, which is an FBI Safe Street Task Force that includes the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office and Baton Rouge Police Department, with assistance from the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, the FBI Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Resident Agency, and Hattiesburg, Mississippi Police Department. This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jamie A. Flowers, Jr.