Ocean County Felon Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking, Firearm Possession, and Possessing Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Carbon County, Pennsylvania, man today admitted conspiring to illegally traffic over 20 firearms – including assault rifles and other high-capacity weapons – in the South Jersey area, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
Darnel Johns, 49, of Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to deal in firearms without a federal firearms license and one count of possession of firearms by a convicted felon. Johns had previously turned himself into law enforcement in late 2016 after several months as a fugitive.
According to documents filed in this and related cases and statements made in court:
Johns admitted that in the Fall and Winter of 2014, he conspired with co-defendant David Potts, 45, of Camden, to illegally sell at least 22 guns. The firearms included a sawed-off shotgun, multiple high-capacity assault-style rifles, and a high-capacity assault-style pistol with a 30-round magazine. Several of the firearms were stolen and had obliterated serial numbers.
Potts previously pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced on April 10, 2017 to 121 months in prison.
The illegal firearms dealing count to which Johns pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The possession of firearms by a convicted felon count carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 4, 2017.
This case was initiated as part of a wide-ranging set of gun trafficking arrests that took place on March 4, 2015. Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Scott C. Curley, Newark Division, and Essam Rabadi, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division, with the investigation. He additionally credited special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Maple Shade Resident Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Carl J. Kotowski; the ATF Charlotte Field Division under the direction of Special Agent in Charge C. J. Hyman; investigators with the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo; detectives of the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief Scott J. Thomson; the Newark Division of Public Safety’s Ballistics Laboratory; and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office Ballistics Laboratory, with the investigation.
He additionally credited the U.S. Marshals Service, under the direction of U.S. Marshal Juan Mattos, Jr.; investigators under the Camden High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area; the New Jersey State Police’s Metro South Unit, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes; the New Jersey State Parole Board, under the direction of Chairman James T. Plousis; the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Gilbert L. Wilson; and the Cherry Hill, Pennsauken and Maple Shade Police Departments.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara A. Aliabadi of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
This investigation was coordinated through the Camden County Crime Collaboration (“C-4”). Every federal, state and local law enforcement agency and prosecutor’s office responsible for combating drug trafficking, gang activity and violent crime in Camden has come together in one location to share intelligence, develop strategies and support the investigative and prosecutorial efforts of its partners. C-4 has merged the individual missions of the various law enforcement agencies into a single strategic attack on drug trafficking and drug-related violent crime. Such intense coordination greatly enhances the law enforcement community’s ability to correctly identify and successfully prosecute Camden’s most dangerous criminals.
Defense counsel: Thomas Young Esq., Assistant Federal Defender, Philadelphia