Violent drug leader sentenced to life in prison

Lengthy wiretap investigation connected Nottingham man to murders

April 29, 2010|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

The leader of a violent East Baltimore drug organization, who has been connected to at least two murders, was sentenced to life in federal prison Thursday.

Johnny "JR" Butler, 34, of Nottingham, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg to life followed by five years of supervised release after being convicted of running a powerful heroin operation.

A day earlier, one of Butler's top associates, Calvin "Turkey" Wright, received 35 years in prison.

Both men still face murder charges at the state level in the 2007 torture and killing of Sintia Mesa, who prosecutors say was killed over a drug debt.

The drug indictment came in 2008 after a lengthy wiretap investigation spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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