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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 10, 2019

Sixth Defendant Sentenced In Holland-Area Heroin Conspiracy

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that Jimmie "Peanut" Butler was sentenced on May 9, 2019, to 262 months’ incarceration followed by 10 years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin and conspiring to distribute cocaine and cocaine base. Five of his co-defendants had previously pled guilty to federal charges stemming from the distribution of heroin in the Holland, Michigan area. The conspiracy, which trafficked heroin from Chicago into the Holland area and the Upper Peninsula is linked to numerous overdoses and at least one death.

          "In the face of the opioid epidemic, the U.S. Attorney’s Office aggressively pursues those who poison our communities with heroin," said U.S. Attorney Birge. "This outcome is the result of the cooperation of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, which have jointly worked to investigate, charge and incarcerate those who take advantage of addicts for profit and spread heroin addiction."

          "The City of Holland has been significantly impacted with numerous overdoses and deaths as a result of the opioid epidemic," said Captain Rick Walters, Holland Department of Public Safety. "This case is an example of local, state, and federal agencies collaborating together to protect and serve our local community. The Holland community has been positively impacted by the joint effort of all those involved and is appreciative of the federal assistance received in this investigation and prosecution."

          "The West Michigan Enforcement Team views the heroin and opioid epidemic as a high priority for our investigators," said D/F/Lt. Andy Fias, Michigan State Police – West Michigan Enforcement Team (WEMET) Section Commander. "We utilize all tools available in fighting this epidemic. In the Butler case, we worked with our federal law enforcement partners to target this large drug trafficking organization that was plaguing the community with deadly drugs. Our collaboration again proved successful in holding those responsible accountable for their illegal trafficking."

          Other members of the conspiracy were charged in an August 15, 2017 superseding indictment. The conspiracy spanned from as early as 2011 until July 2017, when the group was initially indicted. Each of the defendants has now been sentenced: Charles Oakley (156 months), Corey Gross (46 months), Jimmy Moore (33 months), Michael McKinley (24 months), and Monique Molina (24 months).

          This matter was investigated by WEMET, the Holland Department of Public Safety, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sally J. Berens and Timothy VerHey prosecuted the case.

END

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated May 12, 2019