BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — A Beckley woman was sentenced for her role in the Beckley-Philadelphia gun trafficking ring.
Denise Johnson, 26, of Beckley, was sentenced on Thursday, August 3, 2023 to three years and 10 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to travel interstate with the intent to engage in dealing firearms without a license. Johnson admitted to her role in the Beckley-Philadelphia gun trafficking ring, a conspiracy to traffic more than 140 guns from Beckley, WV to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
According to court documents in June 2020, Johnson was a native of Philadelphia living in Beckley when she introduced friends to Bisheem Jones, ringleader of the Beckley-Philadelphia gun trafficking ring. Johnson helped to organize and recruit straw purchasers including telling the purchasers which guns to buy and providing the money to purchase.
Johnson is one of 18 defendants that pleaded guilty in connection to the gun trafficking. A federal jury found Jones guilty on December 16, 2022, of conspiracy to travel interstate with the intent to deal in firearms without a license, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and interstate travel with the intent to deal in firearms without a license. A sentencing date is unavailable at this time, but Jones will face a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison.
Of the more than 140 guns trafficking by Jones, more than 50 were recovered at crime scenes in Philadelphia. Of the 50 recovered guns, they have been connected to two homicides, domestic violence crimes and more violent offense.
A mugshot for Denise Johnson is unavailable at this time.