Authorities find drugs, numerous illegal weapons in Loudon man's home

By: Hilary Magacs Email
By: Hilary Magacs Email

LOUDON, Tenn. (WVLT) -- James Johnson lives on Grove Street in Loudon. His driveway is fenced off with a sign warning that trespassers will be shot and survivors will be shot again. Johnson says he owns guns:

"All you're looking at right there is a copy of my state ID and my valid Tennessee handgun carry permit," said Johnson.

But the 9th Judicial Drug Task Force and Loudon City Police said his carry permit doesn't give him the right to own machine guns and a silencer without proper registration and approval. Authorities found numerous illegal guns - even a grenade launcher - in his home on Tuesday. They said the silencer was reported stolen years ago in Townsend. Officers were searching Johnson's home on a drug-related warrant. They also found marijuana and pills, including Oxycodone and Morphine.

"I was worried why he'd have so many guns on him in Loudon," said Skylar Mills, a neighbor.

Another neighbor who didn't want to be identified is worried too:

"I'm very afraid - he walks up and down these streets with a gun on his side. He's threatened to kill everybody on this hillside. Something needs to be done," she said.

Investigators charged Johnson with sale and delivery of drugs, and possession of drugs for resale. They said those charges will be enhanced because Johnson was armed while committing the offenses, and because he committed them within 1,000 feet of a daycare center.

Johnson wouldn't comment on the charges, aside from saying that authorities are making a mountain out of a molehill.

"I'm praying that they arrest him and lock him up and put him somewhere where he can get help. He needs help," his neighbor said.

For now, Johnson is free on bond. Neighbors said they hope police are keeping a close eye on the area.

Federal authorities are helping with the investigation and may charge Johnson for having illegal weapons.

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