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Press Release

Man Who Moved Drug Overdose Victim’s Unresponsive Body To Cover Up Drug Crime Pleads Guilty To Being Accessory After The Fact

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MARC HENRY JOHNSON pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman to acting as an accessory after the fact to a narcotics offense.  As alleged in the Indictment to which JOHNSON pled guilty and the related criminal Complaint, JOHNSON helped move an unresponsive woman’s body out of a Manhattan apartment where the woman had overdosed on cocaine. 

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “Marc Henry Johnson’s immediate response to seeing a dying overdose victim should have been to summon help.  Instead, Johnson helped his cocaine dealer cover up the drug crime by moving the victim’s body.  In this time of a growing overdose epidemic, today’s guilty plea should serve as a reminder that the proper response to a potential drug overdose is to immediately call 911, not to delay to help cover for the drug dealer.”

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment and the Complaint against JOHNSON and codefendant James Holder:

JOHNSON regularly bought cocaine from Holder, who lived in and sold cocaine from a third-floor apartment in Chelsea.  During the night of October 3, 2015, and the early morning hours of October 4, 2015, JOHNSON met with a 38-year-old woman (“Individual-1”) and others at a bar in Manhattan.  Individual-1 had been using cocaine before JOHNSON arrived.  Later, JOHNSON and Individual-1 left the bar together in a taxi.  They arrived at Holder’s apartment building at approximately 4:25 a.m., and walked upstairs to Holder’s apartment.  Hours later, JOHNSON and Holder dragged Individual-1’s apparently unconscious body into the building’s first-floor vestibule.  Holder then left the building, and JOHNSON called 911 to summon an ambulance.  JOHNSON declined to provide his name to the 911 operator, and he did not identify Individual-1, or describe his relationship to her, or explain what had happened to her and why she needed medical assistance.  Emergency Medical Technicians (“EMTs”) responded and found Individual-1 unresponsive in the Chelsea building’s vestibule.  JOHNSON left the building soon after the EMTs arrived. 

Individual-1 was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead later on October 4, 2015.  Her death was caused by, among other things, cocaine use.

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JOHNSON pled guilty to one count of acting as an accessory after the fact to the offense of maintaining a drug-involved premises.  The accessory-after-the-fact offense carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.  JOHNSON is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Furman on June 26, 2016.

Holder pled guilty before Judge Furman on December 12, 2016, to maintaining a drug-involved premises, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  Holder is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Furman on May 4, 2017, at 3:00 p.m.

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, which comprises agents and officers of the DEA, the New York City Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the New York State Police, the U. S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Marshal Service, New York National Guard, the New York Department of Taxation and Finance, the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, the Clarkstown Police Department, Port Washington Police Department, and New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.  The Strike Force is partially funded by the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which is a federally funded crime fighting initiative.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret Garnett and David Abramowicz are in charge of the prosecution.

Updated March 21, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 17-092