Armed Drug Trafficker Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison
ST. ALBANS, Vermont - The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Darren Johnson, aka “Buck,” 40, of St. Albans, Vermont, was sentenced today to serve 18 months in prison after his conviction for distribution of cocaine base. Chief United States District Judge Geoffrey Crawford also ordered Johnson to serve a three-year term of supervised release after his incarceration. Johnson may face additional incarceration for a probation violation that is pending in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
According to court records, Johnson sold fentanyl-laced heroin and cocaine base to confidential informants in late 2019 and early 2020. Burlington Police arrested Johnson on March 20, 2020, seizing over $5,000 in cash and drug trafficking paraphernalia. Johnson was cited to appear in Chittenden County Superior Court but failed to appear, resulting in the issuance of an arrest warrant. On July 18, 2021, a Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle that was in the wrong lane of a road in St. Albans. Johnson was a passenger in the vehicle and was arrested due to his failure to appear. A search of Johnson’s person resulted in the seizure of over $8,000 in cash. A consent search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of cocaine base and a Glock Model 45 9mm firearm. The investigation by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department determined that Johnson had obtained the firearm from one of his drug customers.
United States Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the investigatory efforts of both the Burlington Police Department and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt handled the prosecution. Johnson was represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender Sara Puls, Esq.
This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. For more information, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psn.