United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced that U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles sentenced John Butler, age 31, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 78 months in federal prison following his convictions for possession with the intent to distribute heroin and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The Court further sentenced Butler to serve three years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment and ordered that the firearm involved be forfeited.
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, on April 3, 2019, Baton Rouge Police Department conducted a traffic stop after observing a vehicle traveling well above the posted speed limit and having extremely dark window tint on the side and rear windows and a tinted cover on the license plate in violation of state and local traffic laws.
The BRPD officer smelled the strong odor of marijuana emanating from inside of the vehicle as the driver rolled down the window. The driver and Butler were removed from the vehicle at which time a small plastic baggie containing heroin in the front passenger door was observed in plain view. Upon further search of the vehicle, a loaded firearm was located on the front passenger-side floorboard near the center console.
U.S. Attorney Brandon Fremin stated, “This conviction and sentence reaffirms our commitment to investigating, arresting, and prosecuting convicted criminals who decide to illegally possess firearms and sell drugs. Great credit goes to our partnership with local authorities for this result. I want to thank our prosecutor, the ATF, and the Baton Rouge Police Department for their work on this case.”
“The sentence imposed today sends a message to individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms that they will be held accountable for their actions,” said ATF New Orleans Field Division Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn. “ATF will remain focused on providing a safe environment to the communities and neighborhoods that are affected by crime.”
This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Baton Rouge Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Demetrius D. Sumner.