An inmate at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian is facing federal charges in connection with a drug trafficking operation.

Frederick Johnson, 36, is one of 17 people charged with operating a multi-state drug trafficking organization in West Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi, announced D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. 

Johnson is serving a 40 year sentence at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility after being convicted of two counts of manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Coahoma County, according to the Miss. Dept. of Corrections.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, on April 30, a federal search warrant was obtained and executed for Johnson's Facebook account. 

Investigators determined that Johnson was using the social media site to communicate with individuals regarding the distribution of methamphetamine, officials said. 

Johnson is a member of the Vice Lords gang and holds the rank of Five Star Universal Elite “Glove" according to court documents. 

According to the criminal complaint, the drug trafficking operation was responsible for distributing more than 70 pounds of methamphetamine in West Tennessee and elsewhere. In addition to the seizure of narcotics, law enforcement seized more than $31,000 in U.S. currency and eight firearms during the investigation.

Others charged in the case include David Bone, 54, Stacy Edwards, 31, Jason Glisson, 42, Shawn Sherry Overton, 45, Shawn Riley, 41, Ronald Solomon, 40, Stacy Edwards, 31 and Jason Glisson, 42, all of  Dyer County, Tennessee; Stacey Caksackkar, 52, Thomas Dacus, 43, Crystal Lee, 37, Draper Lee, 39, Nicholas Grant Mealer, 21, and Tammy Mealer, 50, all of Crockett County,  Tennessee; and Colby Criswell, 28, and  Colby Criswell, 28 of Gibson County, Tennessee. 

Also  charged were Troy Chew, 45, and Madison Middlebrook, 21 both of Blytheville, Arkansas and Michael Newson, 35 of Senatobia, Mississippi.

The defendants could face up to 20 years in federal prison, six years of supervised release and a fine of $2 million, officials said. 

Defendants charged with being felons in possession of a firearm could face an additional 10 years in federal prison, followed by three years supervised release and a fine of $250,000.

There is no parole in the federal system and the case will be presented to a federal grand jury at a later date to consider an indictment against the suspects.

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