Investigation into alleged drug activity leads to arrest

An investigation into alleged drug activity Thursday at an apartment on the west side of Pine Bluff resulted in the arrest of a man who was sitting in a vehicle in front of the apartment and allegedly had drugs and a loaded handgun in the vehicle.

Michael Johnson, 39, was taken into custody after police Vice and Narcotics Detectives and the SWAT Team served a search warrant at 3007 S. Holly St., Deputy Prosecutor Nicole Pugh said during a court hearing Friday in district court.

A probable cause affidavit from Detective Bill Ablondi said the SWAT team forced entry when no one answered the door and detained one person inside while the search was conducted.

Johnson was detained while he was sitting in his vehicle and when asked, allegedly told police he “had a gun in the waistband of his pants and crack cocaine in a bag in the vehicle.”

The gun contained one round in the chamber and five more in the magazine, according to the affidavit.

Pugh said police found a blue Crown Royal bag containing five clear plastic bags, one of which contained suspected marijuana, another suspected crack cocaine and others that contained suspected prescription drugs.

A smaller bag of suspected crack cocaine was found in Johnson’s watch pocket, Ablondi said in the affidavit.

Pugh said Johnson had previously been convicted on drug related and forgery charges and had pending drug- and weapons-related charges in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

Because of the prior convictions and pending charges, Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney agreed to Pugh’s request and set a $25,000 cash-only bond for Johnson after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver, possession of a controlled substance, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and felon in possession of a firearm.

Johnson said he would hire his own attorney.