Authorities find drugs, guns, over $500,000 in attic, man says money comes from ‘party bus business’
BATON ROUGE – After authorities found narcotics, guns and over half a million dollars in vacuum-sealed bags hidden in the attic of a Baton Rouge man’s home, the defendant alleged the money came from his “party bus deal”.
MPs arrested Frank Johnson, 42, on Tuesday, August 18, after months of monitoring him.
Pre-existing criminal records, including numerous narcotics-related arrests and reports that Johnson is a major heroin trafficker in the Gardere Lane area, began an investigation in May 2020.
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office watched Johnson enter and exit several different apartment buildings during the four-month investigation.
An arrest warrant was signed to attach a GPS tracker to the vehicle. Johnson appeared to be operational at the time, despite driving several different vehicles during the investigation. On July 24th, a tracker was placed on one of Johnson’s vehicles. Authorities began reviewing the data on July 27.
Johnson was seen driving a dark SUV, an Infiniti QX70, an Infiniti EX35, and after GPS data showed he was traveling to a car auction in Hammond, a Porsche Macan reportedly arrived at his residence on August 11th.
The suspect traveled to New Orleans on August 17, stopped at a few different dormitories for less than 20 minutes at a time, and then returned to Baton Rouge.
When Johnson re-entered East Baton Rouge Parish, the EBRSO Narcotics Agents began physical surveillance.
MPs say Johnson was driving too fast, changing lanes frequently and not using a blinker, which is why he was run over.
According to authorities, an EBRSO K-9 immediately detected the smell of marijuana when approaching the vehicle. After searching the vehicle, the K-9 found narcotics and MPs found six packets of marijuana groceries and about $ 15,000 in cash under the driver’s seat. There was also $ 1,215 in Johnson’s pocket.
Johnson’s video called his wife Joenika N Vallery during the traffic obstruction, who was seen in unbridled car seats shortly after leaving their home with two teenage children. Narcotics agents say this was an attempt to get narcotics or money away from home.
Vallery was run over with $ 1,396 in her purse.
EBRSO Narcotics Agents issued a search warrant at the Johnson and Vallery residence and found the following:
– 16.8 grams of marijuana
– 4 dosage units Ecstacy
– 37 dosage units MDMA capsules
– An AK pistol, a Beretta .40 pistol
– A money counter
– Approximately $ 501,174 in the attic
– Approximately $ 955 on the bedside table in the bedroom
– Approximately $ 4,042 in the bedroom dresser
Both Johnson and Vallery were taken to the EBRSO Central Substation for questioning, where Johnson first informed authorities that there were no narcotics, weapons or money in the residence.
After being briefed on the results, Johnson admitted the narcotics were his but said the firearms belonged to Vallery.
However, the couple had conflicting stories, both of which initially denied having knowledge of the money found in the attic. Authorities believe this was an attempt to hide revenue that was diverted from criminal activity, including selling narcotics and investing in a Porsche to disguise the funds.
Johnson told authorities that he believed EBRSO tried to get him to admit the money came from heroin sales but said he would not. He later admitted knowing about the money in the attic, but denied knowing the amount. Johnson told investigators that the money came from years of cutting grass, saving, selling beauty items, giving out monies he made from Hurricane Katrina, and the money he made from a party bus business he ran for which he was but does not have a business license.
Johnson has been charged with money laundering, possession with intent to distribute Schedule I (MDMA), possession with intent to distribute Schedule I (marijuana), possession of Schedule V (promethazine), possession of a firearm with CDS, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond is $ 361,000.
Vallery has been charged with money laundering. Their bond is $ 250,000.