Gilford Man Sentenced to 180 Months for Drug Trafficking and Firearm Charges

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            CONCORD – Stephen Johnstone, 32, of Gilford, was sentenced to 180 months in federal prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.

            According to court documents and statements made in court, on July 21, 2020, New Hampshire State Probation and Parole officers made contact with Johnstone, who was a state parolee under their supervision.  Johnstone appeared to be in possession of baggies of methamphetamine. The officers requested assistance from the Laconia Police Department. 

            Johnstone’s car was impounded and searched pursuant to a state search warrant.  Detectives found a backpack containing a Ruger .380 handgun with five rounds of ammunition, over 680 grams of methamphetamine, over 170 grams of cocaine, and other evidence of drug trafficking.  As a convicted felon, Johnstone was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.          

            “Armed drug dealers pose a significant threat to public safety,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley.  “Although drug traffickers endanger the lives of our citizens by peddling deadly substances, the danger is enhanced when drug dealers possess firearms.  As this case demonstrates, we will seek substantial prison sentences for the armed drug traffickers whose conduct threatens the security of communities in the Granite State.”

             This matter was investigated by the Laconia Police Department and New Hampshire State Probation and Parole Office, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration.   The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joachim H. Barth.

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