A Bakersfield, California, man was sentenced in federal court for leading a significant drug trafficking organization operating in Missouri and Oklahoma that distributed hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine.
William D. Johnson, 48, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 22 years in federal prison without parole.
On Feb. 22, 2022, Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine from May 20, 2019, to Jan. 28, 2021, in Newton, Laclede, Lawrence, and Greene Counties.
According to court documents, Johnson utilized a storage unit that was found to contain 231 pounds of methamphetamine, two rifles, and nearly $500,000 in cash. He also maintained two separate residences where law enforcement officers executed search warrants and seized a quarter of a pound of methamphetamine, three handguns, and more than $40,000 in cash.
Johnson was stopped by Joplin, Mo., police officers on June 12, 2019, while he was in possession of 90.63 grams of methamphetamine and $16,327 in cash.
Lebanon, Mo., police officers searched Johnson’s black 2013 GMC 2500 Duramax after he had left the vehicle on May 1, 2020, and found two items that contained drug residue and a Diamond Back 9mm pistol. While searching for Johnson, officers found a backpack he had been seen carrying, which contained approximately 180 grams of methamphetamine, a stolen Ruger .380-caliber firearm, and $33,234 in cash.
When Johnson was arrested on Jan. 28, 2021, he was in possession of a smoking device with methamphetamine residue, two cell phones, and $11,375 in cash.
Johnson is the fourth and final defendant to be sentenced in this case. Douglas S. Ward, 35, of Lebanon, Mo., was sentenced on Oct. 17, 2022, to 20 years in federal prison without parole. Rita M Glasgow, 33, of Joplin, Mo., was sentenced on June 8, 2023, to 10 years in federal prison without parole. Joshua T. Davenport, 42, of Miami, Oklahoma, was sentenced on June 12, 2023, to five years and nine months in federal prison without parole.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica R. Eatmon. It was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Newton County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Joplin, Mo., Police Department, the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Apache County, Arizona, Sheriff’s Department, the Ozark Drug Enforcement Team, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the FBI.