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Press Release

Wheeling man charged with cocaine trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – A federal grand jury returnedindictments today charging Cornelius Johnson, Jr., 38, of Wheeling, with cocaine trafficking, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.

Johnson is alleged to have repeatedly sold crack cocaine near Wilson Playground in Wheeling throughout October and November 2014. Following an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Ohio Valley Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, HIDTA-funded initiative, Johnson is charged with:

• Four counts of “Use of a Telephone to Facilitate the Distribution of Cocaine Base.” He faces up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000,000.00 on each count.
• Four counts of “Distribution of Cocaine Base within 1,000 feet of a Protected Location.” He faces between one and forty years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000,000.00 on each count.
• One count of “Maintaining a Drug Involved Premises” for which he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.00.
• One count of “Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm” for which he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.00.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Vogrin is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government.

Updated January 8, 2016