LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - A New Iberia man will be spending quite a bit of time behind bars after a joint investigation by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Louisiana State Police, and New Iberia Police say he was transporting drugs and proceeds to and from Lafayette, Louisiana; California; Iowa; and South Carolina.

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The DEA began investigating in 2020 and found 44-year-old Joseph R. Johnson to be supplying a drug trafficking organization operating in the Lafayette area. Investigation say Johnson frequently traveled to southern California to Louisiana so he could distribute the drugs. Then, he used the mail to transport the drugs and proceeds to the other states mentioned above.

(Photo by Eric Kayne/Getty Images)
(Photo by Eric Kayne/Getty Images)

Agents say they were able to intercept Johnson's wire communications in 2021, identifying multiple co-conspirators who were helping Johnson traffic methamphetamine, which was being shipped to and from the co-conspirators involved in the drug trafficking organization. Investigators then identified and intercepted a vehicle that was transporting over 30 pound of methamphetamine concealed inside.

Johnson admitted to willfully conspiring with his codefendants in this case when he pled guilty  on April 27, 2023 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

United States District Judge Robert R. Summerhays sentenced Johnson to 13 years, 1 month in prison followed by five years of supervised release. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel J. Vermaelen and J. Aaron Crawford.

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Gallery Credit: Cindy Campbell


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