A federal grand jury in Wichita, Kan., returned a 23-count felony indictment charging two brothers with conspiracy and wildlife trafficking stemming from the illegal sale of guided deer hunts, the Justice Department announced.More >>
Tuesday evening, a jury handed a two-year prison sentence to a woman who pleaded guilty two counts of sexual assault of a minor. Tammy Jean Butler will serve 2 years in prison for count 1 of sexual assaultMore >>
Aggravated sexual assault of a child has unusual circumstances.More >>
WICHITA, KANSAS (KTRE) - U.S. District Court in Kansas re-sentenced two Martinsville brothers on
Lacey Act charges of conspiracy, wildlife trafficking, and obstruction of
justice Monday. The charges were related to the sale of illegal deer hunts in
According to a press release, James Bobby Butler, 44, was sentenced to 10
months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in March 2011 to one count of
conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act, one Lacey Act interstate trafficking count,
and one count of obstructing justice.
His brother, Marlin Jackson Butler, 39, was sentenced to 8 months in federal
prison. He pleaded guilty in March 2011 to one count of conspiracy to violate
the Lacey Act, one Lacey Act Interstate trafficking count.
The Lacey Act is a federal law that makes it illegal to knowingly transport
or sell in interstate commerce any wildlife taken or possessed in violation of
state law or regulation.
The maximum penalty for a felony violation of the Lacey Act includes up to
five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for the
obstruction charges includes up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine.
"The Butlers ran a deer guiding operation near Coldwater, Kan. They sold
guided deer hunts in Kansas to hunters from Texas and Louisiana, charging
approximately $3,500 for archery hunts and $5,000 for rifle hunts," the press
release stated. "During those hunts, the Butlers transported clients to areas
owned or leased by James Butler, where hunters were encouraged to kill deer
illegally, in many cases without a license or permit."
Federal authorities collected documents from local taxidermy places to
support their claims.
The latest development in the case came after the brothers appealed their
original sentences. Back in June 2011, James Butler was sentenced to 41 months
in federal prison and Marlin Butler was sentenced to 27 months. The U.S. Tenth
Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the sentences and remanded the cases for
In June 2011, James Butler was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison and
Marlin Butler was sentenced to 27 months. They appealed their sentences to the
U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which vacated the sentences and remanded
the cases for re-sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom commended the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,
the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, the Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department, Colin Black of the Justice Department's Environment and Natural
Resources Division, Environmental Crimes Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney
Matt Treaster for their work on the case.
Marlin Butler has several convictions on record, including felony counts of
criminal mischief and assault on a public servant. He was booked into the
Nacogdoches County Jail in Jan. 2009 on a charge of sexual assault of a child.
According to the Nacogdoches County District Clerk's Office, Marlin Butler
was indicted for sexual assault of a child for allegedly being involved in a
threesome that included his ex-wife, Tammy Jean Butler, and a 15-year-old girl
in 2008. Marlin Butler was also indicted for aggravated assault, and that charge,
when stems from an unrelated 2009 incident, was originally aggravated sexual
A spokeswoman for the Nacogdoches County District Clerk's Office said those
charges were dismissed on Nov. 2, 2010 because he was in the process of being
prosecuted on the federal charges.
In December 2009, Tammy Butler was sentenced to two years in prison after
she pleaded guilty to two sexual assault of a minor. She also received 10 years
probation for the second count and received credit for time served for the
eight months of jail time she had already served.
During testimony during her jury sentencing, Tammy Butler testified that her
relationship with the 15-year-old victim only happened because her ex-husband
forced her to perform sex acts with the victim, according to a previous East
Texas News story.
Tammy Butler told jurors that she never intended for the relationship to
become physical until the 15-year-old girl became an adult. She also said they
had talked about moving in together when that happened.
On the stand, Tammy Butler said the victim had sex with her and her husband
as a way to protect Tammy Butler. Marlin Butler's ex-wife testified that he was
abusive and forced her to perform sexual acts with other people.
"He would beat me in front of my children until I couldn't get up and move.
Almost every day," Tammy Butler testified in court.
When asked why she didn't leave Tammy Butler said, "He told me, watch my
back because he would kill me."
The teen testified she had sex with Tammy and Marlin because, "If he
didn't get his way, he was going to make somebody pay for it."
"I didn't want anything bad to happen to her," the victim said.
During Tammy Butler's jury sentencing, her defense attorney, John Boundy, asked
Marlin Butler about the threesome. However, acting on advice from his attorney,
he pleaded the Fifth Amendment, his right to silence.