Suspect in Young Dolph’s murder arrested in Ind., second suspect jailed for weeks in Miss.

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 10:47 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 5:47 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Both suspects in the deadly shooting of rapper Young Dolph are now behind bars.

One suspect has been sitting in a Mid-South jail for weeks. The other suspect was picked up more than 500 miles from Memphis.

U.S. Marshals tell Action News 5 that 23-year-old Justin Johnson was captured in Indiana. On the same day, the second suspect, 32-year-old Cornelius Smith was indicted by a Shelby County grand jury.

Captured is the word plastered over the photo U.S. Marshals released of Johnson being taken into custody at around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Smith was arrested Dec. 9 by Southaven police. He’s been held at the DeSoto County Jail for the last month and was transferred to the Shelby County Jail Tuesday.

RELATED | Young Dolph shooting possibly linked to double shooting in Covington

Investigators say Johnson and Smith are the suspects responsible for the Nov. 17 murder of rapper Young Dolph while he visited Makeda’s cookie store near the Memphis airport.

Authorities say the white Mercedes used in the crime and found behind an abandoned house near another murder scene days later, was carjacked Nov. 10 from a gas station on Kirby near Quince.

Smith faces charges of:

  • First-degree murder
  • Attempted first-degree murder (for shooting at Young Dolph’s brother who was with the rapper when he was killed)
  • Being a felon in possession of a firearm
  • Employment of a firearm during a dangerous felony
  • Theft over $10,000

Johnson was wanted on a first-degree murder charge and an outstanding warrant for violation of supervised federal release. He served six months of a five-year sentence for shooting and injuring three people after a bowling alley argument in 2017. After he got out of prison early for being a model inmate, Shelby County court documents show he was arrested a few months later with drugs and a gun, which triggered the warrant for his arrest.

Johnson, an aspiring rapper, goes by the name Straight Drop on Instagram. The Shelby County DA’s Office says over the weekend, he posted to Instagram that he would turn himself in at 201, the county jail, on Monday. That didn’t happen. Tuesday, the Marshals moved in and made the arrest.

In his Instagram stories, Johnson claimed he’s innocent. His Instagram account has now been removed.

The U.S. Marshals, Memphis police, and the Shelby County district attorney are expected to hold a news conference Wednesday to talk about the arrests and the case.

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