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Dresden Couple Arrested on Drug Charges Following Joint Police Investigation

WEAKLEY COUNTY – A joint investigation by Special Agents with the Drug Investigation Division of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and other state and local agencies has resulted in the arrest of a Dresden couple on drug and TennCare fraud charges.

According to TBI spokesperson Susan Niland, 58-year-old Larry Keith Johnson and 58-year-old Melissa Gail Johnson, of Dresden, were arrested Thursday, September 3, and charged with four counts of Sale of Schedule II Hydrocodone and four counts of TennCare Fraud.

The couple was arrested after a Weakley County Grand Jury returned indictments on the drug charges.

In March, agents with the Office of Inspector General joined a TBI investigation into the sale of large amounts of hydrocodone in Weakley County after potential TennCare fraud was discovered. The joint investigation, with the assistance of investigators with the 27th Judicial Drug Task Force, the Dresden Police Department and the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department, identified Melissa and Larry Johnson as the individuals responsible for the sale of the drugs from March through June 2020.

The Tennessee Office of Inspector General identifies and investigates fraud among members of the TennCare healthcare insurance program. Former Dresden Police Chief Steve Howe now serves with the Office of Inspector General.

According to an affidavit, Larry and Melissa Johnson allegedly sold hydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, to a confidential informant on multiple occasions, which is a Class C felony. They are also charged with selling hydrocodone obtained through TennCare, to a confidential informant, a Class D felony.

The couple is held in the Weakley County Jail on a $2,500 bond each.

The defendants are scheduled to appear in Weakley County Circuit Court Tuesday, September 15, with Circuit Court Judge Jeff Parham, 27th Judicial District, presiding.

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