WV residents indicted for robbing elderly TN retirees at gunpoint

Two West Virginia residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Knoxville for kidnapping and fire arms offenses after robbing elderly retirees at gunpoint in Tennessee.

Josh Small, 51, and Joni Amber Johnson, 35, are facing a 16-count superseding indictment charging them with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, using firearms during crimes of violence, and being felons in possession of firearms.

According to the indictment, Small worked for a family member on small paving jobs, such as paving or repaving driveways, for single-family households in Tennessee. The customers were often retirees and the elderly who paid cash for the work.

After returning to West Virginia from Tennessee following the paving work, Small traveled back to Tennessee with Johnson where they committed home invasions of elderly Tennessee residents, including some for which paving work had been done. The residents were confined to their own homes where Small and Johnson allegedly tied them up, held them at gunpoint and stole their valuables, which they later sold to pawn shops in West Virginia.

In addition to the offenses committed in Tennessee, the indictment also alleges a conspiracy to commit similar crimes in Virginia and West Virginia.

If convicted, Small faces 97 years in mandatory minimum sentences for the firearms-related charges and up to life in prison for each kidnapping charge. Johnson faces 82 years in mandatory minimum sentences for the firearms charges, plus an additional 10 years for each felon in possession charge and up to life in prison for each of the kidnapping charges.

Trial is set for April 30, 2018, in U.S. District Court.