November 22, 2019
Contact: Public Information Officer
Phone Number: (202) 305-8426
Maryland man and 10 co-conspirators committing murders, drug trafficking and killing a federal witness, taken down by more than 10 agencies across three states
HARRISBURG, Pa., – Today, Christopher Johnson, 31, previously residing in Baltimore, pleaded guilty in the District Court Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, three counts of use of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death, one count of interstate travel to commit a murder for hire, one count of conspiracy to kill a witness to a federal offense to prevent communication to a federal law enforcement officer, three counts of killing a witness to a federal offense to prevent communication to a federal law enforcement officer and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
According to court records, the charges were the result of a two and a half year investigation into three drug-related murders that occurred in a barn on June 25, 2016, on a property in Franklin County. One of the victims was providing information regarding several of the defendants and others to federal/state law enforcement drug task forces in Maryland. The individuals involved in the murders also joined with others to obstruct the grand jury’s investigation and to locate and kill an individual believed to be assisting federal investigators with the murder investigation.
Johnson, along with 10 coconspirators, were charged in a superseding indictment on Dec. 20, 2018, with murder, drug trafficking, and obstruction of justice.
Charged in the superseding indictment were:
- Kevin Coles, 34, of Hagerstown, Md.;
- Devin Dickerson, 31, of Hagerstown, Md.;
- Torey White, 30, of Waynesboro, Pa.;
- Jerell Adgebesan, 32, of Baltimore;
- Kenyatta Corbett, 38, of Hagerstown, Md.;
- Michael Buck, 30, of Hagerstown, Md.;
- Nicholas Preddy, 29, of Baltimore;
- Johnnie Jenkins-Armstrong, 22, of Baltimore;
- Terrance Lawson, 31, of Baltimore; and
- Tyrone Armstrong, 30, of Baltimore.
Joshua Davis, 30, previously pled guilty to participating in the conspiracy to locate and kill an individual believed to be cooperating with federal authorities in the investigation of the triple murders. Davis was recently sentenced to 100 months’ imprisonment. Several other individuals who were separately indicted on charges of obstructing the federal investigation into the triple murders have also pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
DEA Washington Division Special Agent in Charge Jesse R. Fong would like to thank the following federal, state and local law enforcement agencies who assisted in this important investigation: Drug Enforcement Administration Harrisburg Resident Office; Pennsylvania State Police; Chambersburg, Pa., State Police; Troop H, Franklin County Drug Task Force; Franklin County Adult Probation; Pennsylvania State Probation and Parole; Hagerstown Police Department Criminal Investigation Division; Drug Enforcement Administration Hagerstown Resident Office; Washington County Narcotics Task Force; Drug Enforcement Administration Baltimore District Office; Strike Force Group 1, Maryland State Police Homicide Unit; Baltimore Police Department Narcotics, Fugitive And Homicide Units; Baltimore County Police Department Narcotics and Gang Unit; Federal Bureau of Investigation Evidence Management Unit, Quantico, Va.; U.S. Marshal’s Service Harrisburg, Pa., and Phoenix, Ariz.; Franklin County District Attorney’s Office; United States Attorney’s Office, District Of Maryland; The Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office; along with Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and Senior Litigation Counsel Michael Consiglio who are prosecuting the case.
This case was also brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin. The Heroin Initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in our communities and is part of a coordinated effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.
This prosecution is also part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force identified as “Retribution foe Welsh Run.” OCDETF is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The maximum penalty under federal law for several of these offenses is life imprisonment or the possibility of the death penalty, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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