"We got him!" a state trooper told reporters before hurrying off. He declined to offer more details, saying a full press briefing would be held.
Police captured Johnston about 5:45 a.m. ET near Pennsylvania Route 52, near the Delaware state line. A string of state police cars, lights flashing, swept up the road toward the Avondale state police barracks, with Johnston apparently in the third car.
Police began focusing on the area after a car chase late Thursday night. Apparently, Johnston abandoned his car in the Deerfield housing development.
Dozens of police cars were called out, and helicopters with searchlights took to the air. Search teams with dogs began a ground search.
The manhunt for Johnston intensified earlier this week after a University of Delaware policeman tackled and nearly captured a man witnesses say was Johnston.
The incident ocurred Monday night, but it wasn't until late Tuesday that fingerprint analysis confirmed that Johnston was using a pay phone at the Eagle Diner in Newark, Del., reports CBS News Correspondent Jacqueline Adams.
According to published reports, a waiter there said he did a double take before recognizing the man as Johnston. The convicted murderer's prison break had been featured on the TV crime show America's Most Wanted.
By the time he saw the man, police already had been called. A teen-age waitress saw the same man, talking on the pay phone. It was rumored Johnston hid thousands of dollars in a park nearby.
When a University of Delaware police officer pulled into the parking lot, the man ran into the side door of the restaurant and out the front door.
Police say the officer chased the man up a hill and into a thicket near the railroad tracks behind the restaurant. The cop tackled him and a brief scuffle followed before the man broke free and disappeared into the woods. The officer was armed only with a baton and pepper spray.
Johnston's Aug. 2 break from State Correctional Institution in Huntingdon, Pa., was carefully planned. The TV program showed the dummy he had in his cell. For 12 hours, prison guards thought Johnston was there.
Authorities, who believe he had assistance in the escape, say he sawed through the bars of his cell's window, shinnied under a barbed wire and stole a truck.
Johnston, formerly of West Grove, Pa., was serving a life sentence for the 1978 murder of four teen-agers who had become involved with a burglary ring Johnston ran with his two brothers.