Baylor School tennis coach arrested for allegedly buying meth

Philip Johnson
photo Photographed on Monday, May 18, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn., coach Philip Johnson of the Baylor School boys' tennis team was a member of the 2015 Chattanooga Times Free Press Best of Preps team.

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Philip Henry Johnson, the boys tennis coach at Baylor School in Chattanooga, was arrested Thursday afternoon after buying $200 worth of methamphetamine in Whitfield County, Ga., according to a news release.

During a recent investigation, the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office received information that a Baylor coach frequently traveled to that county to purchase meth, according to the release from Sheriff Scott Chitwood.

Investigators determined that the man was planning to make another purchase of the meth on Thursday, and officers set up surveillance around Interstate 75 at the Tunnel Hill exit. At about 2:30 p.m. the suspect met with a cooperating source at a nearby store to purchase meth from him for $200, the news release states. The source's vehicle was equipped with recording devices, and the transaction was recorded.

Johnson, 51, then left the store parking lot and was stopped by officers as he was getting back onto the interstate. Authorities said the plastic bag containing the chemical substance sold to Johnson was recovered in an empty can in his vehicle.

The suspect also had a firearm in his possession, according to authorities.

Johnson, a resident of Ooltewah, was charged with attempt or conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and use of communication facilities during drug transactions.

He is being held without bond in the Whitfield County Jail, and the investigation is continuing, the sheriff said.

Barbara Kennedy, director of external affairs at Baylor, confirmed in a statement today that Johnson had coached at the school since 2003, but said no further comment would be made on the "personnel matter."