HomeColumbiaIrmo man receives 11-year sentence for fentanyl distribution, firearm possession

Irmo man receives 11-year sentence for fentanyl distribution, firearm possession

Columbia, South Carolina – Joseph Anthony Johnson, aged 34 from Irmo, received an 11-year federal prison sentence after he admitted to distributing fentanyl and having been convicted twice as a felon in possession of a firearm. Court records from January 24, 2022, reveal that West Columbia Police Department officers caught Johnson with fentanyl and a loaded .380 caliber handgun.

The gun had a serial number that was intentionally made unreadable and had been reported stolen. Johnson, already banned from owning guns due to several previous felony convictions, had a criminal history that included 19 different offenses. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Carolina, these included third-degree assault and battery, methamphetamine distribution, seven instances of drug possession, illegal possession of a firearm, resisting arrest, not complying with police orders, and stealing credit card information.

On February 15 and February 24, 2022, while released on bond, Johnson sold heroin and another loaded .380 caliber handgun to a covert informant. During one of these sales, he had a gun tucked into his waistband. He was apprehended on July 22, 2022, and was found with heroin and fentanyl once again.

United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis handed down the 11-year sentence, followed by six years of supervised release. The federal system does not allow parole.

Read also: Darlington woman arrested in Florence shooting incident

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the West Columbia Police Department, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliott B. Daniels prosecuted the case.

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