The rapper, whose real name was Adolf Robert Thornton Jr., was killed on November 17, 2021 at Mekeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies in Memphis, Tennessee. The 36-year-old has survived two children.
Justin Johnson, 23, arrested in connection with the rapper’s murder; Sondel Barnett, 27, and Cornelius Smith, 32, officials said.
Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said further arrests could be made as the investigation into Young Dolph’s death continues. She said citizens’ suggestions were important in apprehending the suspects.
“We would like to thank not only the region but also the hundreds of citizens across the country who provided suggestions in this investigation to ensure that these individuals were brought to justice,” Davis said.
According to a news release from the federal agency, Johnson was apprehended by the US Marshals in Indiana on Tuesday. Johnson – who is also a rapper by the name of Straight Drop – was wanted for first-degree murder.
After announcing a 15,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Johnson, law enforcement received more than 500 suggestions, U.S. Marshal Tyris Miller said at a news conference Wednesday. Law enforcement officers searched Johnson in Indianapolis, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Hampton, Virginia, Miller said.
Investigators received a tip Tuesday that Johnson was traveling on Indiana Highway 42. Investigators contacted the Great Lakes U.S. Marshal Regional Fugitive Task Force for assistance, and they were able to stop Johnson’s vehicle at a truck stop in Brazil, Indiana, where he was taken into custody without incident, Miller said.
Sondel Barnett, 27, was also arrested on Tuesday. Barnett Johnson was the passenger in the car he drove Tuesday, according to Miller.
The U.S. Martial Services and Shelby County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday charged Johnson with “aiding and abetting” Barnett’s allegations of first-degree murder.
Johnson and Barnett were taken to a separate county jail in Indiana. According to Miller, Barnett is being held at Clay County Jail for extradition to Shelby County. Johnson was taken to Knox County Jail, and charged with violating a federally supervised release, Miller said.
Johnson appeared before a federal magistrate for the Southern District of Indiana on Wednesday morning for the charges.
“He waived his identity hearing, and he waived his bond hearing, so in short, he agreed to return to face federally supervised release charges in the western district of Tennessee,” Miller said.
Cornelius Smith is another man arrested in connection with the death of Young Dolph. Smith was arrested Dec. 9 in Southampton, 210 miles northeast of Memphis, on an auto theft warrant involving a white Mercedes Benz used in Yong Dolph’s shooting, according to a news release from the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.
Authorities discovered the vehicle was taken to Karachi on November 10. The vehicle was found on November 20 after a tip-off left shortly after Young Dolph was killed, the statement said.
Smith was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder, first-degree murder, felony criminal mischief for possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm with a felony charge and possession of more than $ 10,000. The statement said. The charge of attempted murder has been leveled at the young Dolph’s brother, who was with the rapper at the time of his death.
Smith was taken into custody at Desoto County Jail, but was handed over to Shelby County Jail on Tuesday.
CNN could not immediately determine whether Cornelius Smith or Justin Johnson had sought legal advice.
CNN’s Chris Boet and Jessica Jordan contributed to this report.