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Press Release

Marc Henry Johnson Sentenced For Helping Drug Dealer Cover Up Role In Woman’s Cocaine Overdose

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 was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison for helping cover up a drug dealer’s narcotics offense by moving a woman’s body out of a Manhattan apartment where she had suffered a fatal cocaine overdose. JOHNSON pled guilty on March 21, 2017, to acting as an accessory after the fact to the offense of maintaining a drug-involved premises. JOHNSON entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman, who imposed today’s sentence.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “Faced with a choice between helping his long-time drug dealer avoid arrest or helping a woman survive a cocaine overdose, Marc Henry Johnson chose to help the drug dealer. For his callous and illegal choice, Johnson will now join that drug dealer in federal prison.”

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in related court proceedings:

JOHNSON regularly bought cocaine from James 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 or why she needed medical assistance. Emergency Medical Technicians 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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In addition to the prison term, MARC HENRY JOHNSON, 53, was sentenced to two years of supervised release and ordered to pay a fine of $20,000.


Holder, who pled guilty on December 12, 2016, to maintaining a drug-involved premises, was sentenced on May 11, 2017, to a term of five years in prison.


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 handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret Garnett and David Abramowicz are in charge of the prosecution.

Updated August 15, 2017

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 17-258