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Friday, November 09, 2018

Small/Johnson indicted federally
A federal grand jury in Knoxville has returned a 16-count superseding indictment naming Josh Small, 51, and Joni Amber Johnson, 35, of Princeton, West Virginia, charging them with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, using firearms during crimes of violence, and being felons in possession of firearms. The indictment stems from Jefferson County incidents earlier this year. In August, a Jefferson County Grand Jury indicted the couple on two counts Aggravated Robbery, Possession Of A Handgun During The Commission Of A Felony, Possession Of A Handgun During The Commission Of A Dangerous Felony, two counts Burglary, Theft Over $1,000 and two counts Theft Under $1,000. Clyde Moore, 82, on Highway 139, Dandridge was allegedly assaulted on June 29. The victim was struck on the chest, tied up and knocked out of the chair where he was seated. Roy Ledbetter, 72, West Dumplin Valley Road, Dandridge was tied up hands and feet, and pushed down a set of steps resulting in injuries on July 2. Both victims were robbed of money and weapons. The burglary charge stems from the burglary of the Roger Woods residence which occurred just before the nearby home invasion of Moore on June 29. Bond for Small was set at $2 million and bond for Johnson is $500,000, on the Jefferson County charges. According to the federal indictment, Small worked for a family member on small paving jobs, such as paving or repaving driveways, for single-family households in Tennessee. The customers were often retirees and the elderly who paid cash for the work. After returning to West Virginia from Tennessee following the paving work, Small traveled back to Tennessee with Johnson where they committed home invasions of elderly Tennessee residents, including some for which paving work had been done. The residents were confined to their own homes where Small and Johnson allegedly tied them up, held them at gunpoint and stole their valuables, which they later sold to pawn shops in West Virginia. In addition to the offenses committed in Tennessee, the indictment also alleges a conspiracy to commit similar crimes in Virginia and West Virginia. If convicted, Small faces 97 years in mandatory minimum sentences for the firearms-related charges and up to life in prison for each kidnapping charge. Johnson faces 82 years in mandatory minimum sentences for the firearms charges, plus an additional 10 years for each felon in possession charge and up to life in prison for each of the kidnapping charges.

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