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Published: Thursday, 4/11/2013

MONSTER GARAGE CONSPIRACY

Toledo man admits role in drug case

Johnson faces 10 years to life at his sentencing

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Johnson Johnson
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A Toledo man admitted Wednesday in U.S. District Court that he unloaded and distributed shipments of cocaine at an Angola Road garage in Holland.

Charles Johnson, 56, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute. He faces 10 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 26 by Judge Jeffrey Helmick.

A co-defendant in the case, Albert Weathers, 45, of Holland pleaded guilty in January to the same charge and a separate count of attempt to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.

In court Wednesday, Matthew Spaulding, special assistant U.S. attorney, said between June, 2010, and July 12, 2012 — when Johnson and Weathers were arrested — Weathers would arrange to have “substantial amounts of cocaine” shipped to his business, Monster Garage Complete Automotive & Detailing on Angola Road.

Johnson “would at times be present when the shipments arrived and receive or purchase some portion of this cocaine from Mr. Weathers or other members of the conspiracy,” Mr. Spaulding said.

He went on to say that on numerous occasions, “Johnson gave packages containing cocaine to other members of the conspiracy at the direction of Weathers. These packages were prepared by Weathers and left for distribution by Johnson at the Monster Garage. Johnson would then collect cash from the co-conspirators and give the money to Weathers.”

The business was raided July 12 after the men took delivery of 11.02 pounds of cocaine that were packed inside a compartment of a tractor-trailer rig.

“A videotape recording of this controlled delivery shows the defendant accessing a hidden compartment in the tractor-trailer, reaching his arm in, and removing … five kilograms of cocaine,” Mr. Spaulding told the court. Authorities seized the cocaine and a $65,000 fee for the drugs.

Johnson, who has been free on bond, replied “yes sir” as Judge Helmick asked him questions about his involvement in the conspiracy. The judge also congratulated him on earning a “nine-month coin” for maintaining sobriety, saying his behavior would have an effect on his sentence.

As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors said they would ask the court to dismiss at sentencing a charge of attempt to possess cocaine with intent to distribute.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at:

jfeehan@theblade.com

or 419-213-2134.


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