A Lenoir man charged with trafficking crystal methamphetamine is considered one of Caldwell County’s highest-level drug dealers, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office said.

Antonio Fitzgerald Johnson, 51, of Howard Arnett Road was arrested Nov. 9 after a brief high-speed chase, according to a press release.

Johnson was suspected of dealing “large quantities” of crystal meth in the community, and he had sold meth to undercover operatives, the press release said.

Narcotics agents who were watching Johnson on Nov. 9 saw him leave his home in a 2007 Acura MDX, and when a deputy tried to pull him over, he stopped briefly before speeding away, the press release said. He was later captured on Hospital Avenue in Lenoir after what was described as a “brief” chase.

During the chase, Johnson reportedly threw a black bag out of the vehicle’s window, and agents found it contained several ounces of meth, the press release said. They also found meth in his pants pocket.

When they searched his home, they found weighing scales, packaging materials, and other drug paraphernalia, the press release said.

A little under a pound of crystal meth, with a street value of $55,325, was seized during the operation, the press release said.

Johbnson was charged with two counts trafficking methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a vehicle or a dwelling for a controlled substance and speeding to elude arrest. His bond was set at $200,000 secured.

Reporter Kara Fohner can be reached at 828-610-8721.

Reporter Kara Fohner can be reached at 828-610-8721.