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Press Release

Georgia Inmate, Leader of Methamphetamine Conspiracy, Pleads Guilty

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Christopher Johnson Used Multiple Cellphones While Incarcerated to Traffic Drugs into Southwest Virginia

ABINGDON, Va. – The leader of a wide-ranging methamphetamine conspiracy, who was incarcerated in Georgia at the time, pled guilty last week in U.S. District Court to federal drug charges.

Christopher David Johnson, 46, pled guilty last week to one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute and to distributing 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. At sentencing, Johnson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a statutory maximum of life.

According to court documents, Johnson conspired with numerous individuals, including Michael Paul Brown, who was sentenced last week to 180 months of imprisonment for his role in the conspiracy, to traffic and distribute multiple kilograms of methamphetamine from Georgia into Southwest Virginia.  At the time, Johnson was incarcerated in Georgia and used multiple cell phones to direct the methamphetamine distribution operation from prison.

Johnson regularly communicated with his co-conspirators using both Facebook and text messaging to coordinate methamphetamine pricing, quantities, recruitment, sales, and deliveries.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh and Jared Forget, Special Agent in Charge of Drug Enforcement Administration’s Washington Division made the announcement.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and multiple law enforcement agencies in Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia investigated the case, including the Bristol (Tennessee) Police Department, the Bristol (Virginia) Police Department, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, the 2nd Judicial Drug Task Force, and the Georgia State Patrol. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Corey Hall and Whit Pierce are prosecuting the case.

Updated May 13, 2024

Drug Trafficking