19-year-old Jumoke Johnson Jr. waives federal hearing in gang case

19-year-old Jumoke Johnson Jr. waives federal hearing in gang case

September 4th, 2013 by Beth Burger in Local Regional News

This is a file photo of Jumoke Johnson Jr. while in school.

Photo by Staff File Photo/Times Free Press.

With a small wave to his grandmother, 19-year-old Jumoke Johnson Jr. shuffled into U.S. Magistrate Judge William Carter's courtroom wearing shackles.

The teen, who Chattanooga police say is a documented leader in the Rollin' 60s Crips gang, already was facing charges in state court for three counts of reselling drugs, one count of possessing drug paraphernalia, one count of possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime and one count of tampering with evidence.

Prosecutors opted to take the same July 17 case federally for a charge of possession of crack cocaine for resale. A total of 30 grams of crack cocaine was found where Johnson was sitting in the back of a police car. More drugs were found inside a house where Johnson and other men were arrested that day.

After prosecutors filed a federal charge, Johnson was arrested by U.S. marshals on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University, where his girlfriend is a student, according to authorities.

He waived a federal detention hearing Tuesday and remained in custody after he was told he had new charges coming in state court.

Those charges, which include domestic assault and false imprisonment, come from an Aug. 25 incident.

Myrlene Marsa, who works for the federal defender's office and represented Johnson, said Johnson potentially could file for a new hearing.

Johnson was featured in a story in the Times Free Press last year as he worked to graduate from Brainerd High School. He was described as bright student and leader among his peers. As a result of the coverage, Johnson was given a college scholarship by a donor in the community to cover expenses not covered by financial aid.

Johnson was a student at Fairfield, Ala.-based Miles College for one semester before he returned home. The private school never returned phone calls seeking comment about Johnson's enrollment status.

Contact staff writer Beth Burger at or 423-757-6406 or bburger@timesfreepress.com. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/abburger.