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Man gets prison for repeatedly shipping lethal amounts of fentanyl from Las Vegas to Detroit

DETROIT – A Detroit man has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for his repeated distribution of the deadly opioid fentanyl.

Dewayne Javon Butler, 32, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl in December 2021. Judge Robert H. Cleland sentenced Butler on May 13.

According to court records, on July 27, 2020, and August 5, 2020, Butler flew to Las Vegas to ship packages containing more than 1 kilogram of fentanyl each to the Detroit area for further distribution.

The packages were intercepted by postal inspectors, who along with special agents from the DEA, determined that Butler was responsible for shipping the illegal drugs to Detroit.

Further investigation revealed 22 previous parcels had been shipped to addresses associated with Butler, between November 2019 and August 2020, and corresponded with Buter’s travel from Detroit to Las Vegas.

“Mr. Butler’s criminal conduct is an all-too-familiar example of someone who is willing, due to his own greed, to contribute to the destruction of communities, families and individuals dealing with the current effects or aftermath of drug addiction,” said U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison in a statement.

“This sentence demonstrates that our office stands ready to hold individuals accountable for the harms they inflict on the community.  I commend the excellent work of these federal law enforcement agents in removing dangerous drugs from the streets that were destroying lives in Southeast Michigan.”

According to officials, a single kilogram of fentanyl can be sold for about $50,000 and potentially produce 250,000 lethal doses.  It’s of particular concern in Michigan, where drug overdose deaths climbed to record levels in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019, more than 51 percent of all drug overdose deaths were attributed to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, and other synthetic opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Ison was joined in the announcement by Rodney Hopkins, Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service and Acting Special Agent in Charge Kent Kleinschmidt of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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