Youngstown man who pleads guilty to drug, gun charges sentenced to federal prison

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Denzel Johnson was accused of selling drugs three times in late 2019 and early 2020

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A North Side man who pleaded guilty to federal drug and gun charges has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison.

Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio handed down the sentence Wednesday to Denzel Johnson, 26, of Superior Street, who entered guilty pleas April 28 to two counts of distribution of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He was indicted Oct. 22.

The indictment in the case said Johnson sold crack cocaine Dec. 4, 2019 and Jan. 2, 2020; that he had crack cocaine in his possession Jan. 9, 2020; and that he had a 9mm handgun Jan. 9, 2020.

He is not allowed to have a gun because of a Sept. 2016 conviction in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for possession of cocaine.

In a sentencing memorandum filed April 28, defense attorney J. Gerald Ingram said this is his client’s first prison sentence and that he cares for his grandmother and has three children.

Ingram submitted letters to Judge Oliver by the mother of the children and the grandmother in support of his client.

The memorandum said Johnson as a child was abandoned by his father and his mother was a heavy drug user who at one time was kicked out of the house the family shared with the grandmother and she had spent some time in prison. She also submitted a letter to the judge saying how she had failed as a parent, Ingram wrote in the memorandum.

Johnson has three previous low-level felony drug convictions in common pleas court, and in each of those cases, he was sentenced to probation and completed the probation successfully, the memorandum said.

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