Long Branch man convicted of heroin & illegal gun ownership offenses

A Monmouth County man was convicted of narcotics and firearms offenses in federal court.

Marnell Johnson, 46, of Long Branch, New Jersey, was convicted on July 14, 2022, following a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton.

Johnson was convicted of possession with intent to distribute heroin; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger, documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial, on four occasions in early 2020, Johnson, a previously convicted felon, sold heroin to a confidential source.

On April 8, 2020, the special agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration executed a federal search warrant of Johnson’s apartment and recovered heroin and packaging paraphernalia.

The DEA also recovered a loaded .380 caliber semi-automatic firearm from the drawer of the same table on which Johnson’s heroin and packaging material were found.

Johnson faces a potential maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the count of possession with intent to distribute; 10 years in prison on the felon in possession count; and a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of life on the count charging possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, which must run consecutive to the sentences imposed on the other counts. Johnson also faces a potential maximum fine of $1.5 million.

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