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Press Release

Springfield Man, Woman Sentenced for Heroin Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man and woman were sentenced in federal court today for their roles in a heroin trafficking conspiracy.


Donald D. Johnson, 27, and Dionne T. Ackerley, 39, both of Springfield, were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark. Johnson was sentenced to 32 years in federal prison without parole. Ackerley was sentenced to 19 years and six months in federal prison without parole.


Johnson and Ackerley each pleaded guilty to their roles in the drug-trafficking conspiracy, which lasted from May 29, 2013, to Feb. 12, 2015.


Johnson admitted that he bought heroin in the Chicago, Ill., area and had it transported in vehicles to the Springfield area for distribution. Johnson also admitted that he bought heroin in the St. Louis, Mo., area. Johnson sold heroin to other co-conspirators.


Johnson admitted that he sold heroin to an undercover law enforcement officer and a confidential informant on three occasions. On March 13, 2014, he sold .7 grams of heroin for $275 in a transaction in Springfield. On March 18, 2014, he sold 2.2 grams of heroin for $500 in a transaction in Ozark, Mo. On Feb. 12, 2015, he sold .93 grams of heroin for $270 in a transaction in Springfield.


Ackerley was present when law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a Springfield residence. She had 21 individual baggies of heroin weighing 1.47 grams in her purse, and two firearms – a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a Smith and Wesson revolver – inside a safe in the bedroom. Ackerley told law enforcement officers that she traded heroin for the firearms.


Law enforcement officers searched a unit rented by Johnson and Ackerley at Bradford Mini Storage in Springfield on May 29, 2014. Inside the storage unit they found a Bushmaster .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle.


Johnson and Ackerley are among five co-defendants who have been sentenced. Two co-defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.


This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nhan D. Nguyen. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.

Updated November 10, 2016

Drug Trafficking