Attorney Warned Investigators About Client's State Of Mind Before Fatal Shooting In Noble
NOBLE, Oklahoma - Daniel Timothy Johnson was shot and killed by a federal task force team in Noble in May 2018. Agents had been surveilling Johnson for years and suspected him to be to a counterfeit mastermind.
Johnson’s attorney, Michael Arnett, said close to a year before the shootout, his client was offered a chance to surrender. Instead, Johnson vanished and even disconnected his phone.
“Everything had always been fine, but I just had a feeling that the way he acted, that he was not going to be taken alive,” said Arnett.
News 9 tracked down the federal indictment that showed the Secret Service found nearly $150,000 of fake bills in an Oklahoma City office park. Agents said they also found printers and other equipment used to make the counterfeit bills.
Initially, Johnson and his brother Benjamin Johnson were indicted together in February of 2017. Investigators alleged the two were working together to counterfeit the money, and the two grew 19 marijuana plants.
A few months before Johnson was killed, the counterfeit charge was dropped against Benjamin.
Benjamin pleaded guilty to cultivating marijuana and is currently serving probation.
“My client maintained in the case that he had no knowledge, and did not participate in any counterfeit operation,” said Benjamin’s attorney Michael Noland.
Agents said that Johnson used a number of aliases and had previously served time in prison. In 2008, Daniel was indicted for copyright infringement involving Microsoft.
“He was fairly animated, intelligent. We had many interesting conversations about his past, and what happened when he had been in prison,” said Arnett.
U.S. Marshals said they were trying to arrest Johnson in May of 2018. They add he realized they were following him.
At some point, Johnson bailed out of his vehicle and Marshals said he began shooting at them with an AR-15.
Investigators said a bomb was also found in Johnson’s car.
“It was a tragic event in which they lost son and their brother. They are still searching for answers as to what happened,” said Nolan.
Marshals then searched Johnson’s rural home in Cleveland County. On the day of the shooting, a total of three properties were under investigation.
As a result of his death, Johnson’s case was dismissed last July. His attorney said that before his client’s death, he went to the ethics commission of Oklahoma Bar Association for counsel.
Arnett said he worried that if he did not warn federal agencies about Daniel, then others would have been killed in the shootout.
“I really do believe that there would have been more lives lost if I hadn't told,” said Arnett.
Federal investigators seized the counterfeit equipment used in the case.
“The success in this case demonstrates the investigative capabilities of the Secret Service and the collaborative efforts of our law enforcement partners” said Todd Brown, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service Oklahoma Field Office. “The Secret Service will continue to develop innovative ways to combat and protect the financial infrastructure of the United States.”