Painkiller dealer gets 6-year prison term

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Agents with the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force set up three drug buys involving the illegal sales of prescription painkillers in January 2016 that resulted in the arrest of 34-year-old Crystal Marie Johnston. Johnston pled guilty April 6 and was sentenced to five years in prison and a $6,000 fine.

She was also sentenced to an additional year in prison for failing to show up for a court date on March 29.

She was originally charged with 10 counts of drug charges but, in a plea deal, agreed to take the guilty plea on three counts: sales of schedule III and II drugs and possession of schedule III drugs. The total prison sentence was 13 years but they are to run concurrently resulting in the five-year effective sentence. She will be eligible for early release after serving 30 percent of the time -- 21.6 months.

According to a statement of the facts, by Assistant District Attorney General Michael Randles, the task force, working with a confidential informant, set up the first drug buy on Jan. 12 that involved six Suboxone strips for $60. (Suboxone is a long-lasting opiate painkiller. Like all the opiates it is commonly abused.)

The second buy occurred on Jan. 14 when a task force agent purchased 10 oxycodone pills for $100.

The third buy was on Jan. 30 when Johnston allegedly sold the agent four Suboxone strips and four Percocet pills for $100. Shortly after the buy, police stopped Johnston and found that she had 30 Suboxone strips with her and the cash used in the earlier buy.

The only fact that Johnston disputed was what car one of the sales took place in at a restaurant.