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Drug dealer convicted in 7 killings could face execution

Corey Johnson is one of three members of the Newtowne gang who received the death penalty under a federal law that targets large-scale drug traffickers.
Credit: AP
FILE - This Aug. 28, 2020, file photo shows the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind. Corey Johnson, A federal inmate scheduled to be executed less than a week before President Donald Trump leaves office was a gang member who was sentenced to death for killing seven people in Richmond, Virginia in 1992. Johnson is scheduled to be executed Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at the federal prison in Terre Haute. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

RICHMOND, Va. — A federal inmate who could be executed less than a week before President Donald Trump leaves office was a gang member who was sentenced to death for the slayings of seven people in Richmond, Virginia, in 1992. 

Corey Johnson is one of three members of the Newtowne gang who received the death penalty under a federal law that targets large-scale drug traffickers. 

Johnson was scheduled to die Thursday at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

A federal judge halted his execution and Friday’s scheduled execution of Dustin Higgs because both men tested positive for COVID-19, but a federal appeals court late Wednesday lifted the injunction. 

Additional appeals are likely, though government lawyers have been successful in getting a green light from the U.S. Supreme Court to proceed.