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Posted by on August 10, 2010.

Feds indict seven in KC Pit BBQ drug investigation

By Amy Wenk
amywenk@reporternewspapers.net

Federal authorities have indicted seven people on drug and money laundering charges in connection with a June 17 raid at KC Pit BBQ restaurant in Sandy Springs, authorities said Aug. 10.

KC Pit BBQ closed at the end of July. Federal authorities have indicted seven people on drug and money laundering charges, including restaurant owners Jiles and Shannon Johnson.

Restaurant owners Jiles Johnson and Shannon Johnson, as well as Jacques Degaule, Mark Walker, Schawn Wortham, Thallas Amie and Laverne Simon have been indicted, said Mike Smith, special assistant U.S. attorney.

“They all pleaded not guilty,” Smith said. No trial date has been set, he said.

A federal grand jury charged Jiles Johnson with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine; money laundering conspiracy; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. His wife and fellow restaurant owner, Shannon Johnson, was charged with money laundering conspiracy.

Amie was charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. Walker was charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and money laundering conspiracy. Simon was charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. Degaule and Wortham were charged with money laundering conspiracy.

Smith said the indictment also includes a general forfeiture provision, which allows the government to seize “a fairly long list” of items that may have been purchased with drug-trafficking money.

Shannon Johnson and Schawn Wortham were released from custody, each on a $75,000 bond, Smith said. The others remain in custody.

KC Pit BBQ reopened briefly after the June 17 raid, but the restaurant closed at the end of July, said Tosh Wolfe with Mimms Enterprises, the company that manages the Sandy Springs North Plaza shopping center where the restaurant is located. Wolfe said the 14,700-square-foot restaurant would not reopen.

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