Former Flemington Councilman Faces Five Years in Prison for Cocaine Distribution

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Malik D. Johnston, a former Flemington councilman, is now facing a five-year prison term after pleading guilty to distributing cocaine. His involvement was uncovered during a joint investigation conducted following his arrest. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Malik D. Johnston, a former Flemington councilman, pleaded guilty to distributing cocaine and faces a five-year prison sentence.
  • Johnston agreed to forfeit a vehicle and cash seized during the narcotics investigation and pay restitution related to a dismissed theft charge.
  • Johnston’s arrest followed a joint investigation that uncovered his involvement in selling cocaine and methamphetamine.

Investigation and Arrest of Malik D. Johnston

Malik D. Johnston, also known as Pippin J. Folk, aged 48, a former councilman of Flemington Borough, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to distributing cocaine. 

The plea was entered on Wednesday before Hunterdon County Superior Court Judge Christopher J. Garrenger. 

Johnston, a Democrat serving his first term, was arrested in February 2023 after a joint investigation by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office’s Narcotics Task Force and the Flemington Borough Police Department.

Details of the Drug Distribution Charges

During the investigation, authorities revealed that in January and February 2023, Johnston sold one half-ounce or more of cocaine and one half-ounce or more of methamphetamine to an undercover police officer in Raritan Township. 

Further probing indicated that Johnston possessed additional quantities of these drugs with the intent to distribute them while in Flemington Borough.

Legal Proceedings and Guilty Plea

Johnston pleaded guilty to a second-degree charge of distributing cocaine. Under the plea agreement’s terms, the state will recommend a five-year prison sentence. 

Johnston has also agreed to forfeit a motor vehicle and US currency that were seized as illegal assets in the narcotics investigation. 

He will also pay restitution to the Flemington Democratic Club for a theft charge that was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Restitution and Dismissed Theft Charge

The theft charge stemmed from an incident on June 2, 2023, when Johnston allegedly withdrew $1,000 from the Flemington Democratic Club’s bank account without authorization. 

At that time, Johnston was a former club officer and did not have permission to withdraw and keep the funds. 

Although this charge was dismissed, Johnston agreed to pay restitution to resolve all related cases.

Upcoming Sentencing

Johnston is scheduled to be sentenced on August 30. He is represented by attorneys Christopher J. Vaccaro for the narcotics case and Daniel W. Frascella III for the theft case. 

First Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Paravecchia represents the state.

Johnston’s term on the council ended on December 31. With his sentencing approaching, the former councilman is preparing to face the consequences of his actions, closing a significant chapter of his public life.Hottest post last week: Inside the Bribery Trial of Sen. Bob Menendez