Covington Drug User in Possession of a Firearm Gets 21 Months

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MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – Isca Johnson, 24 of Covington, Tennessee has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm. This case was developed as part of the first “Operation Crime Driver” in Tipton County. D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney announced the sentence today.

Johnson’s arrest was part of “Operation Crime Driver”, a joint federal, state and local law enforcement anti-violence initiative led by the District Attorney General’s Office for the 25th Judicial District, and conducted between February and May 2019, where law enforcement targeted offenders wanted on arrest warrants for violent criminal offenses in Tipton County, Tennessee. Johnson was among 6 defendants from the first phase of “Operation Crime Driver” to be indicted in federal court in October, 2019 for various drug and gun offenses. https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtn/pr/operation-crime-driver-targets-violent-criminals-tipton-county

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According to information presented in court, on May 3, 2019, Tipton County Sheriff’s deputies encountered Johnson as they smelled marijuana emanating from his apartment. He gave consent to search, and deputies found marijuana, alprazolam, a loaded handgun, and ammunition. He admitted to owning the items and to being a regular user of illicit drugs. Johnson was charged in federal court in Memphis with possession of a firearm while being an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

On December 9, 2019, Johnson pled guilty to being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3).

On November 30, 2020, U.S. District Court Senior Judge Jon McCalla sentenced Johnson to 21 months in federal prison followed by two years supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

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U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, “Studies amply demonstrate the connection between chronic drug abuse and violent crime, and illuminate the nexus between Congress’s attempt to keep firearms away from habitual drug abusers and its goal of reducing violent crime. We are pleased to join with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to focus on the priority areas of firearms and narcotics cases that impact public safety in our rural communities, and we are glad to support this successful joint operation by adopting these cases for federal prosecution.”

Other defendants sentenced in Operation Crime Driver include:

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• Danny Muex, 32, of Tipton County was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtn/pr/tipton-county-probationer-arrested-during-operation-crime-driver-sentenced-federal

• Maurice Nash, A/K/A “Monster,” 47, of Atoka, TN was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdtn/pr/tipton-county-armed-career-criminal-sentenced-over-17-years-federal-prison

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office investigated this case.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean G. Hord prosecuted this case on behalf of the government. SAUSA Hord is currently assigned from the 25th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.