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Press Release

Myrtle Beach Man Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Federal Prison for Drug and Firearms Crimes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA — Charles Donald Butler, 57, of Myrtle Beach, was sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, and fentanyl, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. 

Evidence presented to the court showed that for several years, Butler ran a drug distribution ring in the Myrtle Beach area. Butler served as a source of supply to intermediate distributors, who in turn sold to drug users from a trailer in Myrtle Beach. In the mornings, Butler would supply his distributors with “slips” of drugs – small quantities of drugs packaged in foil wrappers. Butler used this system so he could tell whether his distributors were stealing any of the drugs. In the evenings, Butler would pick up from the trailer money earned from drug dealing and any leftover “slips.”

Over the course of the conspiracy, Butler was accountable for more than 600 grams of heroin, 78 grams of crack cocaine, and quantities of both cocaine and fentanyl.

In May of 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Butler’s home. Inside, they found various controlled substances, foil slips, and a .380 caliber handgun and ammunition.

“Drugs and guns are a deadly combination, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting South Carolinians from the dangers they bring to our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs. “We are thankful for the efforts of our local, county, and federal law enforcement partners, whose tireless work dismantled Charles Butler’s drug trafficking ring.”

“Drug trafficking is a serious offense that has far-reaching consequences for individuals, families and communities,” said Steve Jensen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Columbia Field Office. “With this sentence, it is our hope that Myrtle Beach residents can better enjoy life knowing that another drug dealer and another illegally possessed gun is off the streets. The FBI and its law enforcement partners remain committed to fostering an environment where illegal drug activities have no place.”

“Thanks to our resources, collaborative efforts and the work of our local partners, another dangerous criminal is off the streets,” said Brennan Cavanagh, Public Information Officer, Horry County Sheriff’s Office. “We continue to take proactive measures to protect the community from illegal drugs.”

“This was a major investigation into a case that directly impacted our local community. Our team received numerous complaints about the activities Mr. Butler was engaging in and about the results of those activities. Our team and our community wanted to see justice served,” said Corporal Christopher Starling, Public Information Officer, Myrtle Beach Police Department. “We are appreciative of the partnerships we have with our federal and local law enforcement agencies that led to this result. Myrtle Beach Police Department will continue to fight to make sure individuals that bring this poison into our community are held accountable and are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

United States District Judge Sherri A. Lydon sentenced Butler to 123 months in prison, to be followed by a 6-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.

This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Myrtle Beach Police Department, and Horry County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Flynn prosecuted the case.



Brook Andrews, First Assistant United States Attorney,, (803) 929-3000

Updated August 21, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses