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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 4, 2019

Federal Jury Convicts Last Man Standing in 29-Defendant Organized Crime Case in Myrtle Beach

Florence, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that John Henry Johnson, age 68, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was convicted by a federal jury after three days of trial during the lapse in government appropriations.  The jury found Johnson guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and two counts of the attempted distribution of heroin in January and February of 2017.  Johnson faces up to 30 years in federal prison as a result of these convictions. 

The evidence presented at trial revealed that the DEA and the FBI, working in conjunction with state and local law enforcement, began investigating a drug trafficking organization whose members operated in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Florence, South Carolina, and in southern North Carolina.  Some members of this organization were members of a national criminal gang that sells drugs and firearms, and commits violence to generate illegal revenue.  These gang members worked with other non-gang members of the drug trafficking organization, including Johnson, to enhance profits they made from the sale of heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, and marijuana.

Targeting drug distribution activity and related violent crime in the Myrtle Beach area, federal and state law enforcement agencies engaged in an investigation lasting over two years and used wire and electronic intercepts and other investigative techniques to identify members of this organization, including Johnson.

The evidence showed that Johnson was a mid-level heroin distributor who purchased heroin and fentanyl from the organization’s main source of supply for drugs.  During his participation in the organization, Johnson sold thousands of dollars’ worth of heroin and fentanyl to his customers, sometimes meeting his supplier in the parking lot of drug rehabilitation facilities to buy heroin and fentanyl to sell to his customers. 

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the DEA, the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, the Horry County Police Department, the Myrtle Beach Police Department, the North Myrtle Beach Police Department, and the Georgetown Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Holloway from the Florence office and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy Moorman from the Greenville office prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Lance Crick (864) 282-2105
Updated February 4, 2019