Sheriff’s authorities have arrested a suspect in the robbery of a man in northern Sampson County earlier this week. He is accused of assaulting and robbing the male victim at gunpoint as the victim was attempting to engage in a vehicle trade.
Joseph Lynn Johnson, 28, of 156 Thornton Road, Dunn, was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, habitual misdemeanor assault and possession of firearm by felon. He was arrested Wednesday night at his residence, according to reports.
Johnson was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $100,000 secured bond.
“Enough evidence was obtained by investigators to charge the suspect with the reported assault on the victim,” said Sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith. “The victim went to the location to trade vehicles and the suspect robbed and assaulted the victim.”
According to previous reports, the incident happened just after midnight, in the early-morning hours Tuesday, in the 200 block of Thornton Road, Dunn, located in the Plain View area. Reports state that a 24-year-old man of Goldsboro Highway, Newton Grove, was assaulted with a deadly weapon and held at gunpoint. A female was also said to have been assaulted.
Deputies responded to Harnett-Dunn Highway after receiving a report of a male assault victim. Once on scene, they spoke with the victim, who stated that he was assaulted and robbed earlier while on Thornton Road, reportedly while trying to trade a vehicle. He was robbed of money and a cell phone.
A Toyota Rav4, valued at $24,000, was noted in reports as being stolen in the incident but later recovered. However, no charges have been filed for assaulting a female or larceny of a vehicle, Smith noted.
Johnson has a long criminal history in Johnston County, according to court records through the N.C. Department of Public Safety (NCDPS). He served significant time following an October 2008 conviction on first-degree burglary. Court records show he served nine years in prison, released in November 2017.
He has also been convicted over the years on multiple counts of larceny and assault, including assault on an officer and assault on a female, along with convictions on possessing and distributing meth precursors and obtaining property by false pretenses.
The NCDPS currently lists Johnson’s probationary status as active.
While deputies were interviewing the 24-year-old victim early Tuesday, a vehicle pulled into the driveway next door. The victim pointed out to officers that the vehicle was at the location where he was assaulted earlier. Deputies approached the two female occupants of the vehicle to see if they had any information regarding the assault and saw drug paraphernalia in plain view.
A small amount of meth was subsequently found and the two females were charged in connection with the drugs. One of the females was said to have been at the location where the victim was assaulted, but no other charges in the assault have been brought.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.