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Dale Walker Johnson Gets 200 Months For Robbery

October 0, 2012 Department of Justice
United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee
Dale Walker Johnson Sentenced To 200 Months In Federal Prison For Robbery Of Consumer Credit Union In Morristown

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - Dale Walker Johnson of Morristown, Tenn., was sentenced on October 9, 2012, to serve 200 months in federal prison by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Judge, for his role in the April 2010 robbery of Consumer Credit Union in Morristown, Tenn. Upon his release from prison, Johnson will serve five years on supervised release.

Other individuals involved with Johnson in this robbery were sentenced previously. Joseph Smallwood, 31, of Speedwell, Tenn. admitted that he aided and abetted Johnson in the robbery of Consumer Credit Union and put in jeopardy the life of another person by the use of a firearm. He was sentenced to serve 90 months in prison. Jennifer Smallwood, 31, of Speedwell, Tenn., pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact of bank robbery and was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison. Vanessa Patridge, 26, of Gatlinburg, Tenn. pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact of bank robbery and was sentenced to serve 21 months in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.

In April 2010, a male entered the Consumer Credit Union, on West Andrew Johnson Highway, Morristown, Tenn., gave the teller a note demanding money, then showed her a gun in his waistband. When the teller gave him the money from her drawer, the robber put the money in his bag and left the bank. He left with another male driving a van. Joseph Smallwood and Johnson planned and committed the bank robbery. Both Jennifer Smallwood and Patridge admitted that they knew Joseph Smallwood and Johnson were planning to rob a financial institution and each provided support for them after the robbery.

The indictment and subsequent convictions of Johnson, Joseph Smallwood, Jennifer Smallwood and Patridge were the results of an investigation conducted by the Morristown Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Reeves represented the United States.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian commended the Morristown Police Department and FBI for their investigation of this violent robbery. He noted that this robbery was related to the abuse of prescription drugs. "We continue to see an increase in violent crime committed by individuals trying to support an addiction to oxycodone and other opiates. Our office will continue to work with federal, state and local officers to deal with this threat to our communities," stated U.S. Attorney Killian.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws. It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences. PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community faces.

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Prescription drug use is a problem in Tennessee

Drug overdose deaths in Tennessee are increasing:

The number of drug overdose deaths in Tennessee increased from 422 in 2001 to 1,059 in 2010; The number of drug overdose deaths in 2010 represents an increase of 250% over the 10 year time period. Includes all drug overdose deaths where the manner of death was listed as one of the following: accidental, undetermined, suicide (intentional), or homicide.

Source: Office of Policy, Planning and Assessment, Tennessee Department of Health - Death Certificates.

The top three most prescribed controlled substances in Tennessee in 2010 are:

275.5 million pills of hydrocodone (e.g., Lortab, Lorcet, Vicodin);

116.6 million pills prescribed for alprazolam (e.g., Xanax: used to treat anxiety);

113.5 million pills prescribed for oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Roxicodone) Hydrocodone and oxycodone are both prescription opioids used to treat pain.

The number of drugs prescribed during 2010 to Tennesseans represents:
51 pills of hydrocodone for EVERY Tennessean above the age of 12;
22 pills of alprazolam for EVERY Tennessean above the age of 12;
21 pills of oxycodone for EVERY Tennessean above the age of 12.

Source: Report to the 2011 General Assembly by the Tennessee Department of Health Controlled Substance Database Advisory Committee, Board of Pharmacy.

Prescription drug abuse affects everyone:

Abuse of prescription opioids is the number one drug problem for Tennesseans receiving state-funded treatment services;

Almost 250,000 Tennesseans older than 12 reported abusing prescription opioids in 2009.

Source: Treatment Episode Data Set - Admission (TEDS-A). 1999 - 2009. SAMHSA State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Disorders from the 2008 - 2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.

Prescription drug abuse hits every profession and every socioeconomic level:

For those seeking state-funded treatment, people who were stable (married, employed and had at least a high school education) were 3.16 times more likely than less stable consumers to use prescription opioids than illicit drugs.

Source: Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services. Tennessee Web Information Technology System (TN WITS) Database.

Prescription drug abuse especially affects women:

While more men were admitted to treatment in 2009 than women, a higher percentage of women abuse prescription opioids;

21% of 6,827 men reported prescription opioids as their primary substance of abuse;

27% of 3,403 women listed prescription opioids as their primary substance of abuse;

35% of 142 pregnant women admitted to state-funded treatment services in Tennessee listed prescription opioids as their primary substance of abuse.

Source: SAMHSA State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Disorders from the 2008 - 2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.