Former corrections officer suspected in fake traffic stop had weapons arsenal, hit list: Cops


A former corrections officer being investigated for carrying out an illegal traffic stop may have been planning significantly more serious crimes, including kidnapping and murder, according to sheriff’s deputies.

Mason Johnson, 22, is a former corrections officer for Larue County, Kentucky, and a volunteer for the New Hope Fire Department, according to Louisville Fox affiliate WDRB. Sheriff’s deputies were reportedly tipped off to Johnson’s allegedly fake police work when they were investigating an accident late Sunday night.

“While they were working it somebody came to them and said, ‘Hey, we had someone turn blue lights on us and pretty much do a traffic stop,’” Chief Deputy Brandon Bryan told WDRB. When sheriff’s deputies investigated further, they discovered a veritable arsenal at his home, as well as plots to kidnap his ex-girlfriend and murder a man.

Johnson is charged with possession of destruction device or booby trap device, use of weapon of mass destruction in the third degree, attempted murder, attempted kidnapping, violation of a Kentucky emergency protective order, and impersonating a peace officer, the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office said.

Mason Johnson plotted to murder his ex-girlfriend and murder a man, deputies said. (Mug shot: Nelson County Sheriff's Office)

Mason Johnson plotted to murder his ex-girlfriend and murder a man, deputies said. (Mug shot: Nelson County Sheriff’s Office)

Johnson had been living at his parents’ home. When deputies showed up at the home with a warrant, Johnson’s parents let them in. Investigators found Johnson in the basement.

“The suspect lived in the basement so the units go to the basement, he was asleep thankfully,” Bryan said. “The way that this happened is probably the safest involved.”

According to his arrest citation, deputies claimed to find an array of dangerous items. This allegedly included an apparent pipe bomb as well as “booby traps” like caltrops and a makeshift spike strip. He had multiple guns in his room, and also apparently possessed a police patron, pepper spray, a stun gun with cartridges, and body armor featuring law enforcement patches.

Finally, deputies described finding schematics and plans for kidnapping his ex-girlfriend. Investigators also discovered plans to murder a man, they said. Authorities did not elaborate on any connection between the defendant and this male target.

Johnson had been under a protection order that barred him from owning guns, authorities said.

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