A career felon once sentenced to 195 months in federal prison for possession of a firearm was arrested in a dramatic takedown in Morristown on Friday following a standoff, authorities say.
Darrell P. Johnson, 48, was holed up in a bedroom inside a mobile home on Elwood Drive, and he had told people he would shoot it out with lawmen rather than return to prison. Johnson had no chance of escape.
The mobile home was surrounded by a phalanx of heavily armed local and federal officials, including the Morristown Police Department Special Response Team, according to Detective Pete Shockley, a narcotics investigator.
The first line of offense was an MPD canine named Zlatan, who latched onto Johnson’s calf before the defendant was overrun by a flood of officers and U.S. Marshals, who immobilized Johnson and transported him to the Hamblen County Jail, where he will be held without bond prior to his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Greeneville.
Johnson was found hiding beneath a pile of clothes. During the scuffle, he allegedly grabbed Shockley’s rifle, according to a warrant.
What Johnson allegedly did this time to violate the terms of his restricted release remains unclear. His arrest petition remained sealed by late this morning. He moved to East Tennessee from the Big Stone Gap, Virginia area when he was released from federal prison in February 2016, court documents indicate.
By October 2017, he had run afoul of his federal probation officer by testing positive for methamphetamine and cocaine, but he managed to remain out of prison by attending drug rehab. The reprieve ended in December 2018 when he was sentenced to another year in a federal lockup after he ran from police in Knoxville, according to an arrest petition.
Johnson, who reported he lives in an apartment block on East Andrew Johnson Highway, allegedly was holding a little more than a tenth of a gram of crystal meth when he was arrested Friday. His roommate, Henry Atkins, 45, allegedly had about 1.4 grams of meth, 1.3 grams of marijuana. Atkins had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court.