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Date: 08-03-2023

Case Style:

United States of America v. Denise Johnson

Case Number: 5:22-cr-46

Judge: Frank W. Volk

Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (Beckely County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Beckley

Defendant's Attorney: John Carr

Description: Beckley, West Virginia criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with conspiracy to travel interstate with the intent to engage in dealing firearms without a license. Johnson admitted to her role in a conspiracy to traffic over 140 firearms from the Beckley area to Philadelphia.

In or around June 2020, Denise Johnson, age 26, of Beckley, was a native of Philadelphia living in West Virginia when she introduced her friends and acquaintances in the Beckley area to a group of Philadelphia-based firearms traffickers led by Bisheem Jones, also known as “Bosh.” From in or around June 2020 to in or around July 2021, Jones and his co-conspirators obtained firearms bought by straw purchasers in the Beckley area that they took back to Philadelphia to sell for profit.

Johnson participated in the conspiracy throughout its duration, helping to organize and recruit straw purchasers who bought the firearms trafficked by Jones’ ring. Jones or an intermediary told the straw purchasers which firearms to buy and provided the money for the purchases. Johnson admitted that she knew the recruited straw purchasers would falsely certify on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Federal Firearms Transaction Record Form 4473 that they were purchasing the firearms for themselves when they knew they were buying them for Jones and his trafficking conspiracy.

Of the over 140 firearms trafficked by Jones and his ring to Philadelphia, over 50 were recovered at crime scenes primarily in Philadelphia. Those have been connected to two homicides, crimes of domestic violence, and other violent offenses.

Johnson is among 18 defendants who pleaded guilty in connection with the firearms trafficking. After five days of trial, a federal jury found Jones guilty on December 16, 2022, of conspiracy to travel interstate with the intent to deal in firearms without a license, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and interstate travel with the intent to deal in firearms without a license. Jones is awaiting sentencing and faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the investigative work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Philadelphia Police Department.

United States District Judge Frank W. Volk imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorneys Negar M. Kordestani and Steve Loew prosecuted the case.


Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

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