Top Member of Chester “3rd Bone” Drug Gang Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison

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PHILADELPHIA, PA — United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that 27-year-old Dwayne Butler of Chester, PA, was sentenced this week to 12 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $4,000 special assessment by United States District Court Chief Judge Juan R. Sanchez for his role as one the most prolific members of the “3rd Bone” drug trafficking group, a violent street gang that sold large amounts of crack, cocaine, and heroin in downtown Chester.

In October 2019, Butler and nearly two dozen others were arrested pursuant to parallel Indictments of rival drug gangs operating in and around Chester: “3rd Bone,” which held power in the area of 3rd and Lamokin Streets; and their rivals, “William Penn,” which controlled the territory surrounding the Chester Housing Authority’s William Penn Homes.

Butler and 12 of his “3rd Bone” co-conspirators were charged in a 70-count Indictment alleging conspiracy to distribute crack, cocaine, fentanyl, and heroin (one count); distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances (57 counts); unlawful use of a communications facility in furtherance of a drug felony (five counts); possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (three counts); felon in possession of a firearm (two counts); and aiding and abetting. In September 2021, Butler pleaded guilty to more than 35 drug-related counts, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

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Earlier this year, another “3rd Bone” defendant, Jamel Covington, 31, also of Chester, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, four years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $500 special assessment. Covington pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and firearms offenses, including maintaining a small arsenal of semiautomatic weapons and bulk amounts of crack and fentanyl in a storage facility rented in his name.

“The defendant and his co-conspirators in 3rd Bone, together with the defendants in the William Penn gang, terrorized the Chester community for years with their drug dealing and associated violence,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Butler dealt dangerous narcotics and illegally possessed weapons to further his drug-dealing business, and for that he will now spend more than a decade in prison. Thanks to the efforts of investigators at the FBI and DEA, the 3rd Bone and William Penn drug operations have been permanently shut down, making the streets safer and improving the quality of life for the Chester community.”

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“For years, Butler and his fellow gang members terrorized the hard-working residents of Chester – and he now will pay the price for his crimes.  The FBI and its law enforcement partners will never stop working to make our communities safer and free from violent crime,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

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The case was investigated jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), working closely the Chester City Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Meaghan A. Flannery and Matthew T. Newcomer.

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