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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 11, 2019

Happy Valley Man Sentenced to 57 Months in Federal Prison for Distributing Fentanyl and Possessing a Machine Gun

PORTLAND, Ore.—Johnell Lee Cleveland, 37, of Happy Valley, Oregon, was sentenced today to 57 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release for distributing cyclopropyl fentanyl, possessing a machine gun and money laundering.

According to court documents, in March 2018, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), FBI, and IRS executed a series of search warrants on Cleveland’s residence in Happy Valley, his storage unit in Clackamas, Oregon and a stash house in Vancouver, Washington as part of an ongoing investigation of Cleveland, a suspected distributor of oxycodone pills in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area.

During the search of Cleveland’s home in Happy Valley, investigators seized $27,372 in cash, seven firearms, a ballistic vest, and more than 300 suspected oxycodone pills wrapped in two plastic baggies. One of the firearms seized was a fully-automatic machine gun with a drum magazine. In Cleveland’s garage, investigators found a white Mercedes-Benz with exterior bullet holes believed to be involved in a December 2017 downtown Portland shooting that left one man critically injured.

In searches of Cleveland’s storage unit and the Vancouver stash house, investigators found an additional $124,040 in cash, more than 900 additional suspected oxycodone pills and more than $100,000 worth of jewelry and Rolex watches. Laboratory tests revealed that the suspected oxycodone were in fact counterfeit pills made with cyclopropyl fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.

On March 22, 2019, Cleveland pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute cyclopropyl-fentanyl, one count of possessing a machine gun and two counts of money laundering. As part of his plea, Cleveland agreed to abandon any interest in the seized firearms and forfeit all criminally-derived proceeds as identified by the government.

Cleveland is currently awaiting trial in Multnomah County Circuit Court for attempted murder with a firearm related to the December 2017 shooting in Portland.

This case was investigated by PPB, FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Peter Sax and Benjamin Tolkoff, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon.

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Updated July 11, 2019