DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 12, 2017
Nancy Stallard Harr
, United States Attorney
Contact: Sharry Dedman-Beard

Johnson City Resident Sentenced to Serve 150 Months in Prison for Firearm and Drug Charges

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On October 11, 2017, Christopher Horton, a.k.a. “Slim,” 30, of Johnson City, Tennessee, was sentenced by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 150 months in federal prison for possession with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base “crack,” possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Upon his release from prison, he will be supervised by U.S. Probation for five years. There is no parole in the federal system.

In June 2017, a jury convicted Horton of these charges, which arose from his early morning arrest by Johnson City Police Officers, on January 4, 2015, near the WJHL office on State of Franklin Street. Horton brandished a firearm outside the Old South bar, which resulted in a brief pursuit by officers. During the pursuit, an officer saw him duck down beside a car in a parking lot. After his arrest, a firearm and quantity of crack cocaine were found under the vehicle where he was earlier seen. Officers recognized that fibers on the firearm appeared similar to that of a torn pocket on Horton’s jacket. Forensics experts from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation found that the fibers on the firearm did match the type of fibers in Horton’s jacket. Additionally, DNA matching Horton was also found on the firearm.

Agencies involved in this investigation included the Johnson City Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. J. Gregory Bowman, Assistant U.S. Attorney represented the United States.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws. It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences. PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community faces.


Nashville Field Division