Fayetteville police officer accused of numerous illegal drug activities, more: New Details

Monique John Image
Thursday, October 12, 2023
Arrested Fayetteville police officer makes first court appearance
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Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West said the investigation of Izreal Gear-Johnson has ramifications for other cases the patrol officer worked.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Fayetteville police officer arrested in connection with illegal drug activity made his first court appearance Wednesday at the Cumberland County Detention Center.

According to his arrest warrant, Izreal Gear-Johnson, 23, is facing a felony charge for conspiring to manufacture and distribute marijuana from a Fayetteville apartment with an associate.

However, Wednesday in court, Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West detailed how the charges go even deeper than that.

"There's also an obstruction of justice charge. When officers were allegedly investigating a breaking and entering where drugs were found. And there's also a willfully not following their duties charges..." West said.

The warrant information says Gear-Johnson allegedly used the police department's license-plate-reader system to help an associate, identified as Elijah Campbell, avoid arrest for a hit and run in July. Gear-Johnson also allegedly lied to law enforcement, telling them Campbell was his cousin to obscure his identity. Then Gear-Johnson tried to hide evidence by telling Campbell to throw away marijuana while police were beginning a search.

West said this investigation has ramifications for other cases.

"Any cases this officer was significantly involved in, it will certainly hinder our ability or perhaps we won't be able to prosecute at all without it being a case-by-case basis. We'll go through it and certainly it will impact it, and there will be charges that are dismissed as a result of this," West said.

In court, Gear-Johnson said he wants to post his $100,000 bond for his charges, but it remains to be seen whether he'll be able to do so. The judge set his bond conditions, including barring him from going out at night or before 7 a.m. Still, Gear-Johnson continues to be in custody.

West said Gear-Johnson, who was sworn in as a patrol officer in June 2022, does not have a prior record.

The Fayetteville Police Department said Wednesday that Gear-Johnson's employment status had been changed from administrative leave with pay to suspension without pay.