Man arrested after standoff

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Phillip Johnson will be arraigned Tuesday, March 11, on charges of drug trafficking and driving under suspension.

Authorities held Johnson Thursday night at the Mahoning County Jail following a two-hour standoff Thursday afternoon on the city’s South Side.

Neighbors said police had their guns drawn and had the road blocked off at South Avenue.

Johnson was arrested by U.S. Marshals at about 6:30 p.m. after a month-long investigation into suspected drug activity at the house in the 100 block of East Marion Avenue.

It was suspected Johnson was trafficking drugs, mainly cocaine, from the South Side house. Sgt. John Elberty said when SWAT teams arrived, Johnson was not alone in the home.

“There were several people inside. We announced on the bullhorn and they came out eventually,” Elberty said.

Everyone came out except Johnson. After failed negotiations between Johnson and SWAT teams, tear gas was fired into the home.

Shortly after 6 p.m., two SWAT teams made it inside the house and eventually found Johnson hiding in a furnace duct in the basement.

“I don’t know how he got in there,” Elberty said.

After searching the house, police were unable to find any drugs or weapons.

The other people in the house when SWAT teams arrived are not facing any charges.


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