DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Kentucky

For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 9, 2020
Russell Coleman
, United States Attorney
Contact: Nick Storm

Marion Co. Man Sentenced for Drug Distribution, Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – United States District Judge David J. Hale sentenced Phillip Randolph Johnson Jr. of Marion County, Kentucky, to 180 months followed by 5 years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to a seven count federal indictment. 

 “Armed drug dealing will not be tolerated in Marion County or the Western District of Kentucky,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “Those who ignore this warning will pay a heavy price, in this case a decade and a half in federal prison.”

“Armed felons who illegally possess and use guns to further drug deals are criminals who pose an increased threat to the safety of our communities,” stated ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Tommy Estevan of the Louisville Field Division. “ATF provides investigative resources that lead to arrests and successful prosecutions of these offenders”

On October 3, 2019, Johnson, 38 years of age, entered a plea of guilty to all seven counts of the federal indictment.  The federal charges included 2 Counts of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, 2 Counts of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, 1 Count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, 1 Count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and 1 Count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  

Johnson was previously convicted in Marion County of reckless homicide and two charges of trafficking in a controlled substance (cocaine) in the first degree, all felonies. 

The federal charges to which Johnson pleaded guilty are based on conduct which occurred between November 13, 2018, and November 30, 2018, in Marion County.  According to the plea, Johnson sold cocaine and methamphetamine to law enforcement officials on multiple occasions between the above dates and on November 30, 2018, was found in possession of a Taurus, Model PT809, 9 millimeter semiautomatic pistol and ammunition, following the execution of a search warrant of the residence from which he had been selling narcotics.

Based on the fact that Johnson had two prior felony controlled substance offenses and pleaded guilty to the current drug charges, the Court determined he is a “career offender” for sentencing purposes which made him eligible for an enhanced sentence.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mac Shannon, and was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Lebanon Police Department.




Louisville Field Division