Drug Dealer Who Attempted to Tamper with a Witness and Make “Hooch” While in Jail Sentenced to Nearly Three Decades in Federal Prison

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

A drug trafficker was sentenced March 25, 2022, to a total of 29 years in federal prison.

Curtis James Johnson, age 36, from Talladega, Alabama, received the prison term after a July 30, 2021 guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and an August 16, 2021 guilty plea to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Johnson sold methamphetamine to another individual in May 2021.  Law enforcement’s subsequent searches of two homes led to the discovery of methamphetamine and a loaded firearm at a relative’s residence and a loaded firearm at another residence associated with Johnson.  This all occurred in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, area.  Johnson was arrested after the searches.

Following his arrest, Johnson called his mother using another inmate’s phone account in the jail and discussed paying a witness to not attend Johnson’s upcoming trial.  Prior to the current conduct, Johnson had amassed a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for battery causing bodily injury and assault causing bodily injury.  Johnson was also previously convicted of burglary and felony drug trafficking offenses.  Evidence at sentencing showed Johnson was also involved in making “hooch” while in jail.

Johnson was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Johnson was sentenced to 288 months’ imprisonment for the drug count and 60 months for the firearm count for a total of 348 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Johnson is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily K. Nydle and investigated by the Cedar Rapids Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 21-cr-28.

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