April 5, 2011 in Idaho

Post Falls businessman arrested in drug raid

Shot two men in 2009 in downtown Coeur d’Alene
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Kootenai County Sheriff's Department photo

Adam M. Johnson, 27
(Full-size photo)

A man who shot two men in downtown Coeur d’Alene in what a grand jury ruled was self defense returned to jail on a heroin charge after a SWAT team raid in Post Falls.

Adam M. Johnson, 27, was in a room with a syringe loaded with heroin when police arrived on Friday with a search warrant.

Johnson, the founder of a telecommunications company and a member of the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, “denied ownership of the syringe and advised me that he did not know who it belonged to,” according to a report by Post Falls police Detective Brian Williamson

When he was arrested, Johnson had on him a plastic straw with brown residue, police say, which is typically used to ingest drugs.

Johnson told The Spokesman-Review on Tuesday that he’s passed a drug test and had no knowledge of drugs in the home until the raid. He said the straw was not drug related.

“I understand the seriousness of the allegations and I intend on sticking around to fight them,” Johnson said. “The truth will prevail.”

He left the Kootenai County Jail on $10,000 bond Monday for felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Johnson spent nearly two weeks in jail after shooting two men during a night of drinking in downtown Coeur d’Alene on Dec. 27, 2009.

Johnson said he shot the men after they attacked him; a grand jury declined to indict him on charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery.

Johnson still faces a charge of carrying a concealed weapon while intoxicated for the incident.

A lawsuit filed by shooting victims Bradley J. Phillips and Brandon R. Burgess of Moses Lake is pending.

The drug investigation began when the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force received an anonymous email on March 17 advising drug activity at 4990 E. Frazier Drive in Post Falls. The home is owned by Johnson’s close friend, Anthony R. “Tony” Lewis, 32.

An officer responded to the home March 27 for a noise complaint, noted an “elaborate surveillance system,” and said Johnson and other people in the home appeared to be intoxicated. On March 31, police pulled trash from outside the home and found drug materials, including foil typically used to smoke heroin or OxyContin. Police obtained a search warrant the next day. The SWAT team was used specifically because of Johnson’s presence and his criminal history, police say.

Johnson said Tuesday that he was at the home doing work for his company, Convertec.

A young girl was in the home at the time, police said. Her father, Eli Skalak, was arrested for possession of heroin, injury to a child and frequenting a place where drugs are used.

Also arrested were Daniel J. Herman, 22, on heroin and frequenting charges, a juvenile female for possession of OxyContin, Andrew Adams for possession of cocaine, Christian Grupp for possession of OxyContin and drug paraphernalia, and Lewis for possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and frequenting.

Lewis told police he knew people came to his home “to use and sell drugs but that he is not involved” and only smokes marijuana.However, police say Lewis appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

“At one point, one of the officers asked if it were possible for Anthony to remain still for ten seconds,” according to the report.

On Tuesday, Lewis said he was fidgeting because of tight handcuffs and “extreme back problems.”

“I was in extreme pain,” Lewis told The Spokesman-Review. “It was not what the police tried to make it look like.”


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