PCP dealer sentenced in Beaumont

Jonathan Van Johnson

In October, The Examiner reported in-depth on the upward trend of use of the deadly drug phencyclidine in Southeast Texas. At the time, Beaumont Police Department Sgt. Bryan Baker said that PCP use has increased significantly in the area throughout the years.

“Drugs tend to follow a trend,” explains Baker. “They go in cycles.”

He said currently PCP use is up, and he and his fellow narcotics officers are seeing much larger quantities during busts.

“We used to find Scope or vanilla extract bottles with enough liquid to dip maybe 20 to 30 cigarettes,” said Baker. “Now, we are finding one or two liters of the stuff when we find it.”

As evidence of Baker's assertion, in May 2013, a Beaumont man was found with more than 500 grams of PCP at his home, a quantity he admittedly was planning to distribute according to information from the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

Jonathan Van Johnson, 36, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute PCP earlier this year and was sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison on Dec. 16, reports U.S. Attorney John Bales of the Eastern District of Texas.

According to a news release from Bales' office, Johnson was sentenced to federal prison on drug trafficking violations after pleading guilty on March 18. Information relative to the charges presented in court indicated that on May 21, 2013, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Johnson's Beaumont residence and discovered approximately 536 grams of PCP, as well as "additional drug paraphernalia consistent with drug trafficking activities," reads the release. The search was reportedly the result of an investigation into illegal drug activity in the area. Johnson was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 6, 2013 and charged with the drug trafficking violations.

A database search revealed Johnson has prior convictions for possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana in a drug-free zone, possession of a controlled substance, failure to identify, delivery of marijuana and manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance and has spent time in state jail.

The case was investigated by the Beaumont Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Fluke.