published Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Chattanooga gang member waives hearing; remains in jail

A 19-year-old Chattanooga man who waived a federal detention hearing in U.S. Magistrate Judge William Carter’s courtroom this morning and remains in custody after he was told he had new charges coming in state court.

Jumoke Johnson Jr., 19, who has been documented as a leader in the Rollin’ 60s Crips by Chattanooga police, was already 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.

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.

Johnson had posted bond on those charges. Prosecutors decided to file a federal charge stemming from the same July 17 incident for possession of crack cocaine for resale. Johnson was arrested by the U.S. Marshals on campus at Middle Tennessee State University where his girlfriend is a student, according to authorities.

Johnson, wearing shackles, shuffled into the courtroom this morning and gave a small wave to his grandmother who attended the hearing.

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

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 Miles College for one semester before he returned home. The private school never returned phone calls seeking comment about Johnson’s status with the college.

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