A teen who had been the first in his family to graduate from Brainerd High School and who found a patron willing to pay for his college education has wound up in Federal Court instead.
Jumoke Johnson Jr., 19, is facing charges of selling crack cocaine. He was due to appear before Federal Magistrate Court Judge Bill Carter for a detention hearing this morning. However, the hearing did not go forward. His attorney, Myrlene Marsa of the federal defender's office said he was due to face more state charges this morning, and the state was moving to revoke his probation.
Police said Johnson and two others were arrested by the Chattanooga Police Department on July 17 on state charges related to illegal narcotics and firearm possession.
CPD officers placed the three men in the back of a CPD patrol car and took them to the Hamilton County Jail. Johnson was seated in the back passenger seat next to the window. Johnson had actually demanded of the other two individuals and the CPD officers that he be placed by a window.
At some point during the ride to the Hamilton County Jail Johnson asked the CPD officer who was driving, to roll his (Johnson's) window down because it was so hot in the patrol car. The window was rolled down. In the parking lot of the Hamilton County Jail Johnson then told the CPD officers that he was going to sit up because his hands hurt and when he did so he raised his hands to near the open window.
The officer became suspicious of Johnson's activity and asked another officer to look under Johnson to see if he put anything illegal under the seat. That officer assisted Johnson out of the patrol car and immediately noticed a ripped bag with rocks of cocaine base (crack) on top of the seat where Johnson had been sitting. The officers got the other two defendants out of the patrol car, lifted up the back seat and found several more large crack rocks under where Johnson had been sitting. The officers also found several crack rocks outside the patrol car door (with the open window) where Johnson was sitting.
The total field weight of the crack cocaine found was 30 grams.
According to the officers, prior to placing Johnson and the other two in the back of the patrol car, the other two men were searched, but Johnson was not thoroughly searched.
Johnson was known to be a validated gang member at the time he took part in graduation ceremonies at Brainerd High. He was given a shortened sentence in General Sessions Court in May 2012 after pleading guilty to assault with the agreement he would soon head off to college.
Johnson pleaded guilty to domestic assault involving an attack on the mother of his child and assault against a fellow jail inmate.
As part of an agreement, several cases against him in Criminal Court were also dismissed based on the General Sessions Court pleas. They included a drug case, another assault and a criminal trespass. In the drug case, a co-defendant took responsibility for the drugs. In the assault case, the alleged victim did not want to prosecute.
In General Sessions Court, Johnson was given a sentence of 11 months and 29 days in the workhouse. It was suspended after serving 180 days and upon enrollment at Miles College in Birmingham, Ala.
Prosecutor Brett Alexander at the time said he was advised that a donor had come forward and offered to sponsor him at the college.
The prosecutor said the charges against Johnson were serious. He said in the domestic assault case he grabbed the mother of his child while she was holding the baby and began choking her. He said he then took the child, and it was returned to the mother later that day by relatives.
He said the other case happened at the county jail when Johnson attacked a fellow inmate in a dispute over a TV remote.
Prosecutor Alexander said Johnson is a validated member of the Rollin' 60s Crip gang.
He said of the acclaim Johnson received for being the first member of his family in three generations to graduate from high school, "I would hope that others would receive as much recognition who have gone through high school without being gang leaders and getting numerous criminal charges."
General Sessions Court Judge David Bales at the time cautioned Johnson that since he has the convictions that if he is found with a weapon that he could face stiff penalties in Federal Court.