July 20, 2024

The Lake Tribune

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California Man Sentenced to 22 Years for Leading Vast Drug Network in Missouri

1 min read

Man Arrested for Drug Smuggling in Missouri

MISSOURI — A California man has been sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for his role in a substantial drug trafficking operation spanning Missouri and Oklahoma. William D. Johnson, 48, from Bakersfield, California, faced the U.S. District Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Johnson’s illicit activities, traced from May 2019 to January 2021, encompassed several counties in Missouri, including Newton, Laclede, Lawrence, and Greene. His involvement in drug trafficking was first uncovered during a traffic stop by Joplin, Missouri police in June 2019, where 90.63 grams of meth and over $16,000 in cash were seized.

Further investigations led to more discoveries. In May 2020, in Lebanon, Missouri police searched Johnson’s vehicle and found a 9 mm pistol, a stolen .380 firearm, 180 grams of meth, and over $33,000. At his arrest in January 2021, Johnson had a smoking device with meth residue, two cell phones, and over $11,000.

The scope of Johnson’s operations became more evident with the discovery of a storage unit linked to him. Inside, law enforcement found 231 pounds of meth, two rifles, and nearly $500,000 in cash. Additional searches of his residences led to the seizure of more drugs, three handguns, and an additional $40,000.

Johnson is the last of four defendants sentenced in this case. His co-defendants, Douglas S. Ward, Rita M. Glasgow, and Joshua T. Davenport, have received various sentences, demonstrating the federal commitment to dismantling drug trafficking networks. Johnson’s lengthy sentence underscores the severity of his crimes and their impact on the communities across Missouri and Oklahoma.

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