Owner of Popular Rib Joint Busted in Drug Operation

By CRA News Service

One of the operators of a well-known restaurant, famous for its ribs and honeyed salsa, was arrested in multi-agency drug bust recently, police said.

Authorities said Belinda Wright Johnson, 51, of Delray Beach allowed her ex-husband to serve up extra side orders of medication pills at her Tom’s Place World Famous Barbeque. She also acted as his lookout, according to the arrest report.

In an operation dubbed, Keystone Express, agents from the DEA and officers from local law enforcement agencies arrested 12 people and seized hundreds of oxycodone pills, other drugs and firearms.

According to arrest reports, Wright allowed her ex-husband Jerome Juan Johnson, 44, to peddle drugs from the family restaurant, at 400 Boynton Beach Boulevard.

Prosecutors said Johnson, who headed up a criminal group of at least seven people, sold many of the drugs out of his Boca Raton home.

Authorities used an informant and undercover officers to monitor the deals at various locations including a Best Buy on North Congress Avenue and the restaurant.

The judge denied bond for Johnson.

Belinda Wright Johnson and Jerome Johnson were married for several years and have two children together. She has since remarried.

Tom’s Place had been a fixture in Boca Raton for more than 25 years until it closed in 2004. Tom’s Place barbeque sauce is sold in stores throughout Florida and other states. Belinda Johnson and current husband Gerard Harris, Sr. reopened the business at its present location. Harris was not arrested in the bust.

“We aren’t no drug dealers,” Harris said. “We’re hard-working people.”

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About Pedro Heizer

I'm a person of simple taste, all I need is some country music, Batman, Star Wars, sports, coffee, and most importantly Jesus Christ, because what profits a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? View all posts by Pedro Heizer

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