Baltimore Man Sentenced To Over Nine Years In Prison For Obstructing Murder Investigation
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Mark Johnson, age 36, of Baltimore, Maryland, was sentenced on January 25, 2023 to 110 months’ imprisonment by United States District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner after pleading guilty to obstructing a federal investigation into a triple murder where one of the victims was cooperating with a federal drug investigation.
According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Johnson helped his brother, Christopher Johnson, and others, attempt to thwart the investigation into the June 25, 2016 murder of three individuals in a barn in Mercersburg, Franklin County, PA. One of the victims was providing information to DEA in Hagerstown, Maryland, and local Maryland law enforcement about drug trafficking in Hagerstown and elsewhere. Karam said that the murder was a contract killing. The killer has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. Kevin Coles, also from Maryland, was convicted by a federal jury in April 2022 of ordering the contract killing. Mark Johnson was not involved in the murders or the planning of the murders but assisted his brother in avoiding apprehension and in assisting in trying to locate and kill a codefendant in the triple murders who was believed to be cooperating with federal authorities.
The following individuals have been convicted at trial, pleaded guilty or sentenced in connection with the investigation:
- Kevin Coles, New York, NY and Hagerstown, Maryland, was found guilty after a trial in April 2022 of multiple crimes, including murder for hire, robbery, and drug trafficking, and is awaiting sentencing;
- Jerell Adgebesan, Baltimore and Hagerstown, Maryland, pleaded guilty to participating in the murders of the three victims in Mercersburg, Franklin County and is awaiting sentencing;
- Devin Dickerson, Hagerstown, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and crack cocaine and is awaiting sentencing;
- Kenyatta Corbett, Hagerstown, pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery and to being an accomplice to the use of a firearm during Hobbs Act robbery and the killing of a federal witness and is awaiting sentencing;
- Michael Buck, Hagerstown, pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery and to being an accomplice to the use of a firearm during Hobbs Act robbery and is awaiting sentencing;
- Nicholas Preddy, Baltimore, pleaded guilty to attempting to kill a witness and is awaiting sentencing;
- Johnnie Jenkins-Armstrong, Baltimore, pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery and to being an accomplice to the use of a firearm during Hobbs Act robbery and the killing of a federal witness and is awaiting sentencing;
- Terrance Lawson, Baltimore, sentenced to time served for attempting to intimidate a witness;
- Tyrone Armstrong, Baltimore, sentenced to time served for attempting to intimidate a witness;
- Christopher Johnson, Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty to multiple charges including murder for hire and is awaiting sentencing; and
- Llesenia Woodard, Hagerstown, Maryland, pleaded guilty to providing false testimony to the grand jury investigating the murders and is awaiting sentencing.
Joshua Davis previously pleaded guilty to participating in the conspiracy to locate and kill an individual believed to be cooperating with federal authorities in the investigation of the triple murders. Davis was sentenced to serve 100 months’ imprisonment.
Trial for the remaining defendant, Torey White, is currently scheduled for May 1, 2023.
The following federal, state and local law enforcement agencies participated in the investigation: Drug Enforcement Administration Harrisburg Resident Office; Pennsylvania State Police, Chambersburg; Pennsylvania State Police, Troop H; Franklin County Drug Task Force; Franklin County Adult Probation; Pennsylvania State Probation and Parole; Hagerstown Police Department, Criminal Investigation Division; Drug Enforcement Administration, Hagerstown Resident Office; Washington County Narcotics Task Force; Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office, Strike Force Group 1; Maryland State Police Homicide Unit; Baltimore Police Department Narcotics, Fugitive And Homicide Units; Baltimore County Police Department Narcotics and Gang Unit; Federal Bureau of Investigation Evidence Management Unit, Quantico, VA; US Marshal’s Service Harrisburg, PA and Phoenix, AZ; Franklin County District Attorney’s Office; United States Attorney’s Office, District Of Maryland; and the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Judy Fernandez, Manager of Analytic Services at LexisNexis Special Services, Inc., (LNSSI) provided expert assistance to investigators and the prosecution in the areas of analysis, support, and the rendering of her expert opinion.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys William A. Behe and Michael Consiglio are prosecuting the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.
This prosecution is also part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) identified as “Retribution for Welsh Run.” OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
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Updated January 27, 2023
Project Safe Neighborhoods