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Germantown Heroin Dealer Sentenced to Six Years

January 14, 2016

A Germantown-based heroin dealer, who may be responsible for two deaths due to the ingredients used to cut the drug, has been sentenced to six years in prison.

   On Jan. 13, U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm sentenced Jelani Omar Johnson, 34, of Germantown, to six years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. Judge Grimm ordered that this sentence be served consecutive to the 51-month sentence Johnson previously received for being a felon in possession of a gun, which was charged in a separate case.

   According to his plea agreement, from June through August 2013, Johnson conspired with others to distribute heroin in the Germantown area. Johnson had other conspirators drive him to locations in Montgomery County, where he distributed the heroin, charging $100 to $120 per bag. Johnson traveled to Washington, D.C. and to Richmond, Virginia to obtain the heroin.  Johnson cut the heroin he obtained with Xanax and other substances to increase the quantity of heroin.

  Court documents filed in the case said that at least two deaths occurred after individuals ingested heroin that Johnson had distributed. Statements made by Johnson suggest that he was aware that cutting agents he had added to the heroin were causing harm, and he didn’t care. During his participation in the drug conspiracy, he possessed with intent to distribute between 80 and 100 grams of heroin.

   According to his plea agreement in the gun case, Johnson contacted a Montgomery County Police Department confidential source and discussed obtaining a gun from the source.  Johnson admitted that on October 1, 2013, he purchased a 9mm semi-automatic pistol from an undercover Montgomery County Police officer and the source, paying for the gun with cash and approximately one gram of heroin.

   Johnson had previously been convicted of a felony and was prohibited from possessing a gun.

   “As a police department we are always happy to see a case end with a conviction and sentencing,” said Montgomery County Police spokesman Rick Goodale. “We were able to get a drug dealer and firearm off the streets, and given the rash of recent heroin-related deaths could have saved lives.”

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