Acting United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Johnny Dolph, 50, originally of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was sentenced today in Omaha, Nebraska, by Chief United States District Court Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. to an overall cumulative sentence of 150 months’ imprisonment for 10 Counts: Felon in Possession of a Firearm; Possession of a Firearm Following a Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence; 2 counts of False Statement During the Purchase of a Firearm; Conspiracy to Tamper with Documents or Proceedings; Tampering with Documents or Proceedings; 2 counts of Conspiracy to Assault a Witness; and 2 counts for Attempted Assault of a Witness. After his release from prison, Dolph will serve a 5-year term of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
Dolph is a self-professed “shot caller” for the Irish Mob Gang, which is a gang that originated in the Oklahoma state prison system. Dolph came to Omaha in early 2021 on an interstate parole compact following a prison sentence in Kansas. Dolph had lied to Kansas and Nebraska’s parole offices claiming that he would be living with an individual in Omaha who he claimed was his brother; the man was not his brother and is an affiliate of the Irish Mob Gang. In the summer of 2021, Dolph brought an individual from Kansas to Omaha to set up a forgery operation. This individual from Kansas was stopped by the Richardson County Sheriff’s Office in September 2021 and found to be in possession of numerous forgery related items to include counterfeit currency, forged Treasury checks, and document making implements.
Shortly after the individual from Kansas’s arrest, Dolph and co-defendant Norwood began contacting the individual from Kansas’s wife, identified as Victim 1 who was located in Omaha, in attempts to prevent her from going to law enforcement. Victim 1 reported receiving threatening communications from Dolph and Norwood. Dolph, Norwood, and others began researching and attempting to locate where Victim 1 was located.
In the fall of 2021, Norwood conducted a straw-purchase for Dolph of a Hi-Point C9 9mm handgun from gunbroker.com. The transfer was completed on October 25, 2021. A straw purchase is an illegal purchase of a firearm by one person for another. Dolph was prohibited from possessing a firearm due to eleven felony convictions in Oklahoma and Kansas as well as due to two misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence in Kansas.
In October 2021, Dolph’s apartment in Omaha was searched pursuant to a Federal search warrant. The affiant for the search warrant was a federal agent with the Omaha Metro Financial Crimes Task Force, identified as Victim 2. Following the execution of the search warrant, Dolph began researching Victim 2 and found, what Dolph believed to be, Victim 2’s home address; this address belonged to another individual with the same name as Victim 2. Dolph drove by what he believed to be Victim 2’s address and filmed it. Dolph then disseminated this video and address to third parties and, in one such conversation, expressed a need to obtain a “throw away” gun.
In November 2021, Dolph contacted Kate Ruth and requested that she come to Omaha from Kansas to help him locate and carry out the “green light” he had put on Victim 1. Ruth was driven to Omaha by Juanita Gibson. Dolph paid for Ruth and Gibson’s gas and provided directions on where to go once they arrived in Omaha. Dolph and Norwood let Gibson and Ruth stay with them in their apartment. While in Omaha, the four attempted to locate Victim 1. At Dolph’s direction, Ruth and Gibson drove to a residence in Omaha at which Victim 1 was believed to be staying.
On March 1, 2022, law enforcement attempted to arrest Dolph on a state warrant. Dolph was located and the Hi-Point C9 9mm handgun that Norwood had illegally purchased for him was recovered. The ATF examined the Hi-Point C9 pistol and determined that it travelled in interstate commerce to be located in Nebraska on March 1, 2021.
Dolph was interviewed by law enforcement. He admitted to being a “shot caller” for the Irish Mob Gang. Dolph admitted to researching and threatening Victim 1. Dolph stated that he wanted to prevent Victim 1 from cooperating with law enforcement. Dolph stated that he believed a “green light” to be an assault. Dolph admitted to bringing “clovers,” female members of the Irish Mob Gang, from Kansas to Omaha to carry out the green light on Victim 1. He identified those clovers as Juanita Gibson and Kate Ruth. Dolph also admitted that Norwood purchased the Hi-Point C9 pistol on his behalf. Dolph admitted to possessing the handgun and making a fake handgun purchase permit to make it appear like he had legally purchased the firearm if he were to come into contact with law enforcement. Dolph admitted that he knew he was a felon. A review of Dolph’s social media included a photograph of him holding the firearm and telling another individual that Norwood had bought the firearm for him.
Following his arrest on the state warrant, Dolph was Federally indicted for the firearms charges and was incarcerated at the Douglas County Correctional Center. On March 30, 2022, at 7:58 p.m. and at 8:14 p.m., Dolph called Norwood. Dolph used his assigned inmate PIN number and called Norwood at her known phone number. Inmates are advised that all non-attorney calls are recorded. In the calls, Norwood told Dolph that she was going to their trailer per his earlier request. The trailer was later identified and located at a storage facility in Omaha. Dolph then provided step-by-step instructions over the phone to Norwood on how to retrieve an item that was concealed in an air compressor in the trailer. Dolph instructed Norwood to burn the item using gasoline and a blow torch. During the call, Dolph was very agitated that the item be destroyed and said it will send him to prison. Dolph also expressed concern that Norwood did not destroy it and was going to turn it over to law enforcement. Dolph then asked Norwood to take a picture of the item burning to prove to him that she destroyed it. An image of the item burning was found on Norwood’s phone.
The individual from Kansas was sentenced on May 23, 2022, to time-served after serving a nine-month sentence for Possession of Counterfeit Currency and Possession of a Document Making Implement or Authentication Feature and is currently serving a five-year term of supervised release. On July 18, 2023, Gibson pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Assault a Witness and Attempted Assault of a Witness and her sentencing is scheduled for October 13, 2023. Norwood and Ruth are currently pending trial and are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty.
After the sentencing today, FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel said, “Today’s sentencing of John Dolph is a message to criminals who think threatening a witness and destroying evidence will keep them out of prison. The FBI will find you. Intimidation and threats of violence will never be tolerated.”
“The United States Secret Service is proud of the effective partnerships it maintains with the Omaha Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the United States Attorney’s Office, whose tireless efforts were instrumental in seeing justice served in this case,” Kansas City Field Office Special Agent in Charge Brandon Bridgeforth said. “We can think of no greater outcome than protecting citizens and witnesses of crimes from violent criminals such as Johnny Dolph.”
"Our office has the power and authority to prosecute all offenses against the United States. Any attempts to subvert this pursuit of justice through illicit means will be met with aggressive prosecution," said Acting United States Attorney Susan Lehr. "Today's sentencing is an example of this commitment and should serve as a warning to those who are contemplating unlawful attempts to undermine the criminal justice process."
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, the Omaha Police Department, and the Richardson County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.