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Cocaine dealer sentenced to 14 years in prison

MOBILE, Ala. — A Florida man was sentenced in federal court Thursday for his participation in an interstate cocaine distribution operation following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Christopher David Johnson, 39, of Winter Haven, Fla., was sentenced by Judge Callie V. S. Granade to serve 14 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release. The judge also ordered that the defendant undergo drug abuse treatment and mental health treatment during his incarceration and supervision. No fine was imposed but the judge ordered that Johnson pay the special mandatory assessment of $100.

According to court documents, the cocaine was supplied by Johnson's sources in Houston, Texas, and transported using couriers driving rental cars to Orlando, Fla. The total amount of cocaine involved in the distribution scheme was from 5 to 15 kilograms. Johnson entered a guilty plea to the charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine in June 2011.

"Motivated by greed, the smuggling and distribution of controlled substances is a serious crime that presents society with challenges on multiple levels beyond the obvious disregard for the law," said Raymond R. Parmer Jr., special agent in charge of HSI New Orleans. "HSI will continue aggressive utilization of its investigative resources to stop this type of activity, regardless of whether it is carried out by air, land or sea." Parmer oversees HSI activities for the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gloria Bedwell.

For more information, visit www.ice.gov.