A federal agent who intercepted a Marietta man’s package labeled “supplements” at a New York airport led to police seizing tens of thousands of prescription painkillers he allegedly obtained in a drug deal using a messaging app on his phone.
Don Juan Johnson, 40, has been charged with four counts of felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute after a police investigation led them to the drugs and the accused narcotics trafficker.
These events began May 13 when a Customs and Border Protection agent working at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City intercepted several packages labeled “supplements” that were being shipped from Germany to two P.O. Boxes in Marietta.
The agent opened the package and found 2,000 Tramadol pills, a narrative in the arrest warrant states. Tramadol is a prescription painkiller used to treat moderate or severe pain. The entire shipment, which totaled 10 boxes, included 17,400 Tramadol pills as well as 1,990 pills identified as Soma, a muscle relaxer. They were turned over to Homeland Security Investigation’s Atlanta field office on May 16.
Officials reached out to the local U.S. Postal Service Inspectors office, which confirmed that the P.O. Boxes were registered to Johnson. The inspector, working in conjunction with Marietta Police Department’s Criminal Interdiction Unit and Homeland Security, notified Johnson that his package was ready to be retrieved.
At around 3:30 p.m. May 31, Johnson arrived at the Post Office on Lawrence Street in Marietta and picked up the package containing the Tramadol pills.
Marietta police, who were waiting nearby, moved in and arrested Johnson, who had several unused U.S. Postal Service shipping boxes, labels, rubber bands and other boxes containing Tramadol inside the vehicle, the arrest warrant said.
Johnson told police that he used WhatsApp, a messaging app, on his cell phone “to orchestrate the drug deals” with an unknown person, the warrant alleges. He was also charged with one count of using a communications device to commit a felony.
A search of Johnson’s car and home also uncovered 2,170 Soma pills, 80 Alprazolam pills and 20 Diazepam pills. Marietta police spokesman Chuck McPhilamy said a total of 23,190 pills were seized during the operation.
Johnson was booked into the Cobb County jail and remains held without bond, records show. McPhilamy said the investigation remains active.
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