MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP, abc24.com) - A Memphis police officer and 24 other people have been charged with distributing marijuana and methamphetamine as part of a drug organization that extends beyond Memphis and the Mid-South, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Memphis police patrolman Eric Johnson and 24 others were indicted by two separate grand juries and charged with distributing more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, said Edward Stanton, U.S. Attorney for West Tennessee. One man who was charged with marijuana distribution was also charged with distributing methamphetamine.
The defendants conspired to possess and sell the drugs from October 2010 to July of this year, the indictment said. Stanton said the arrests were part of a two-year investigation.
"It has national implications," Stanton said of the investigation.
The charges carry a penalty of 10 years to life in prison, upon conviction.
Johnson, who has been on the force since February 2006, also was charged for failing to reveal his knowledge about the drug distribution ring. Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong declined to say whether Johnson used his authority as a police officer to sell drugs.
Johnson was arrested Thursday, as were most of the other people charged, Stanton said. The Associated Press could not confirm if Johnson has a lawyer.
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