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Huntington man admits guilt in crack conspiracy

Jul. 07, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A Huntington man has pleaded guilty to work in a drug conspiracy dating back to 2006 in one of several cases recently heard in the U.S. District Court in Huntington.

Michael Lashawn Johnson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute at least 280 grams of crack cocaine. U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers set sentencing for Sept. 16.

Johnson, 34, signed an agreement with prosecutors stating he conspired with others to distribute nearly 4.5 pounds of crack cocaine in Huntington. The agreement described that measurement as a "conservative, readily provable" weight.

Johnson trafficked the drug from at least 2006 to Feb. 7, 2013. He would receive crack cocaine and powered cocaine from Columbus, Ohio, and then provide it to others who sold the drug in Huntington, the agreement states.

Much of the local operations were based at Johnson's residence in the 100 block of South Walnut Street in Huntington. The agreement states investigators witnessed several members of his organization at the residence.

The conspiracy's timeline includes two traffic stops in Ohio. One revealed $33,000 cash, while the other uncovered 515 grams of powder and led to Johnson being convicted in state court.

Locally, authorities conducted an undercover buy from Johnson in April 2011 and found crack cocaine in his possession at the time of the Feb. 7, 2013, arrest.

Federal prosecutors agreed they would not subject Johnson to an enhanced punishment linked to his prior criminal record in exchange for his plea. They also agreed to dismiss a federal firearms violation, along with three additional drug counts that alleged distribution, possession and aiding/abetting.

Prison for man's role in drug buy

Dwjuan Strickland received a 3-year, 1-month prison sentence. He had pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and heroin.

Strickland, also known as "Freak" and "Mitch," signed an agreement with prosecutors stating he aided his co-defendant in possessing crack cocaine and heroin at a residence in the 800 block of 24th Street. The drugs were found in October 2011 as authorities executed a search warrant at the residence.

The search revealed 9.52 grams of crack cocaine, nearly a half gram of heroin, two handguns and approximately $577 cash, according to the statement.

Federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss counts of conspiracy and having been a felon in possession of a firearm in exchange for Strickland's guilty plea.

Man gets prison in crack distribution

Tyree Antonio Spraggins received a 5-year, 10-month prison sentence. He had pleaded guilty to distributing at least 28 grams of crack cocaine.

Spraggins, 26, of Columbus, Ohio, signed an agreement with prosecutors stating he sold an undercover agent 44.3 grams of crack cocaine for $2,600 cash. The transaction occurred Oct. 27, 2010, at a fictitious storefront along 20th Street, where federal agents were conducting an operation.

Federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss four additional counts of trafficking crack cocaine in exchange for Spraggins' plea. Those counts involved 98.5 grams of the drug.

Man admits to role in crack deal

Jaron Dontae Reed pleaded guilty to distributing crack cocaine. Chambers set sentencing for Sept. 3.

Reed, 24, signed an agreement with prosecutors stating he sold an unspecified amount of crack cocaine to undercover agents Sept. 23, 2010. It occurred during an undercover investigation at a fictitious storefront along 20th Street in Huntington.

The agreement further states the Sept. 23 incident was among three transactions at the store. The combined weight of the three deals totaled 67 grams of heroin, however federal prosecutors dismissed a count involving an Aug. 31 transaction and did not file a charge against Reed pertaining to an incident from Sept. 16.

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