Pacific County Sheriff’s Deputy Vance Johnson has been charged with one count of first degree extortion, four counts of bribery, five counts of reckless endangerment, and one count of reckless driving. In April, Deputy Johnson was off duty at a home when a car drove by and threw eggs at Johnson’s own vehicle.
According to Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer, who is handling the case, Johnson chased the other vehicle through town at speeds upward of 75 mph. At one point Johnson reportedly cut off the car, forcing it to stop. Meyer says that witnesses thought Johnson was reaching for a gun, and they drove off again, eluding the Deputy.
Approximately 3 weeks later, Deputy Johnson confronted one of the egg throwers at their home, in uniform and in a Pacific County Sheriff vehicle. Johnson allegedly coerced him to give a written statement about the event, or he would be arrested. Using the written statement, Johnson contacted other residents who were allegedly in the car that night, or their parents, saying that if he did not receive $1500 that he was going to file felony charges.
2 of the witnesses work for the Raymond Police Department, one of the victims is related to a Washington State Patrol Trooper assigned to the area, another victim works for the Pacific County Prosecutor’s Office. Because of these connections, the case is being handled by Lewis County.
44 year old Johnson is a 5 year veteran of the office.
Sheriff Johnson said, “Today is a very sad day for the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, it’s news none of us ever wish to hear, however nothing is more important than maintaining public trust and confidence in our employees, all of whom I hold to the highest moral and ethical standards”.
Sheriff Johnson & Deputy Johnson are not related.