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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 22, 2018

Huntington Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug and Gun Charges

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Huntington man who was arrested after a drug and gun investigation earlier this year pled guilty today to multiple federal charges, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Jonathan Forest Johnson, 31, entered guilty pleas to distribution of methamphetamine and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.  Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the Huntington FBI Safe Streets Task Force and the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department.

“Another violent drug dealer off the streets of Huntington,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Convicted felon. Meth. Heroin. Guns.  Johnson’s case reads like so many others and will share the same ending – federal prison.”

On January 29, 2018, a confidential informant contacted Johnson to arrange the purchase of methamphetamine.  After negotiating the transaction, Johnson directed the informant to meet him in the parking lot of a department store located in the 3000 block of U.S. Route 60 in Huntington.  The informant met with Johnson at that location and Johnson sold the informant 15 grams of crystal methamphetamine in exchange for $330. 

On February 2, 2018, investigators executed a search warrant at Johnson’s residence located at 3405 5th Avenue in Huntington. During the search, investigators seized a number of items including 17 grams of heroin, 4.5 grams of meth, two 9mm pistols, a .40 caliber pistol, a .22 caliber rifle, a 12 gauge shotgun, and a 16 gauge shotgun.  Johnson and Casey Marie Porter were arrested during the search and Johnson admitted that he intended to sell the heroin and meth found in his residence.  Johnson further admitted that he possessed the firearms to serve as protection based on his involvement in distributing heroin and meth. 

During the plea hearing, Johnson admitted to selling an additional 15 grams of meth to an informant on January 31, 2018, and that he was prohibited from possessing the firearms seized based on multiple prior felony convictions in the Cabell County Circuit Court for First Degree Robbery and Malicious Wounding.   Johnson also admitted that he and Porter had been selling heroin and meth for the two-month period prior to the February 2 search of his residence. 

Johnson faces at least 5 years and up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on January 28, 2019.  Porter pleaded guilty on September 5, 2018, to aiding and abetting Johnson in a meth distribution and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 7, 2019.

Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is handling the prosecution.  The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

 

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated October 22, 2018