FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY - March 23, 2010
TWENTY-THIRD MAN SENTENCED IN DON QUIXOTE DRUG OPERATION
WILMINGTON - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox sentenced COURTNEY JACKSON BUTTS III, 36, of New Hanover County, North Carolina, to 246 months’ imprisonment followed by five years’ supervised release.
On August 28, 2009, a Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment. On November 11, 2009, BUTTS pled guilty to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (crack).
The investigation showed that BUTTS was responsible for distributing four kilograms of cocaine base and cocaine from 2007 until his arrest in July 2009. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Vice and Narcotics division made four undercover purchases from BUTTS between November 2008 and December 2008. BUTTS’ criminal history includes three separate convictions for conspiracy or sale of cocaine.
This case was brought as a part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Operation entitled Don Quixote, investigating importers and multi-level distributors of cocaine, “crack” cocaine, heroin, Ecstasy and gang activity associated with this distribution. This organization is responsible for the importation and distribution of more than 200 kilograms of cocaine, more than 65 kilograms of “crack” cocaine, 3 kilograms of heroin, 20,000 Ecstacy pills and several kilograms of marijuana into Eastern North Carolina since 2003. To date, 23 people have been sentenced in federal court as a part of this operation.
Investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the Federal Bureau of Investigations Safe Streets Task Force (Wilmington); the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations; the Wilmington Police Department; the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office; the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office; the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office; the Pender County Sheriff’s Office; the Holly Ridge Police Department; the Top Sail Police Department; and the Surf City Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Severo represents the government. Mr. Severo is a prosecutor with the New Hanover District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Ben David has assigned him to the United States Attorney’s Office to prosecute federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force criminal matters. This has been made possible by a grant funded by the Governor’s Crime Commission and the New Hanover County Commissioners.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce