January 12, 2006, - 6:50 am
By Debbie Schlussel
The strange case of Milton “Butch” Jones is illuminating.
The drug kingpin’s lax sentence is evidence that our Justice Department is not serious about fighting terrorism, the war on drugs, or even mass murder.
Jones was the founder and chief of Young Boys, Inc.(YBI), the far-reaching drug gang that terrorized the Detroit area for years. He is linked to at least 68 murders, and believed to have ordered far more. Jones’ 1996 book, “Y.B.I.: The Autobiography of Butch Jones“, brags about his tenure at YBI–including killing, robbing, firebombing, and–of course–making millions by using teen gang members to sell drugs and kill. Some of his drug dealers were as young as nine years old. Jones wrote the book on being a pimp daddy.
He went to prison in 1983. He is responsible for murders so numerous and so brutal that federal authorities were seeking the federal death penalty for drug dealers against him after a new 2001 indictment against him.
But Butch Jones helped Al-Qaeda terrorists go free. And he helped discredit a star prosecutor who obtained the first post-9/11 guilty verdict against those terrorists.
So Butch Jones got a deal.
Last week, prosecutors agreed to seek a sentence of only 30 years against Jones. They will not seek the federal death penalty for drug kingpins against him–or even seek a life sentence. Jones’ current attorney will seek to get an even more lenient sentence.
So, how did a drug kingpin responsible for the brutal murders of countless people throughout Detroit get off so easily? How did he manage to escape a federal death penalty for drug kingpins for which Butch Jones seemed to be the model target recipient?
Work your way back several years.
Butch Jones’ previous attorney was a man named Jeffrey Collins. Mr. Collins, a liberal and not regarded as a very smart or competent attorney, saw that there would be opportunities for him if he posed as a Republican.
Michigan’s then-Republican governor, John Engler, was eager to show that he believed in “diversity”, sought out a Black “Republican”, and made the less-than-stellar Collins a judge. Then, in 2001, when Engler’s friend, George W. Bush, was elected President, he, too, was looking for a Black “Republican” to appoint as U.S. Attorney in Detroit.
(Collins served until 2004. His current replacement, U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy, III, who lost out for the job against Collins in 2001, bitterly whined to a Republican U.S. Senator at a cocktail party that Collins was not really a Republican and that “Blacks control our party.”)
Bush appointed Butch Jones’ former attorney Collins to the position of U.S. Attorney, a job he began in late 2001.
After the September 11 attacks, the FBI was looking for Nabil Al-Marabh–a Syrian national who was a top Osama Bin Laden associate and among the top 25 on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. Detroit agents went to a house on Norman street in a shabby Detroit neighborhood, where Al-Marabh had recently lived.
The agents didn’t find Al-Marabh, but they found other men who had over a hundred extremist Muslim videotapes, “tourist” tapes of prominent U.S. sites and attractions, and a dayplanner with detailed drawings of a U.S. airbase in Incirlik, Turkey–including the order of take-off for AWACS and F-16 planes used by the U.S. and Israeli Air Forces.
And there were other things. Singing on one of the “tourist” videos sounded like Al-Qaeda songs. One man on a tape was linked to an Al-Qaeda sham marriage ring (enabling terrorists to get U.S. green cards and citizenship). Plus fraudulent documents. At least one of the men worked for Skychef at Detroit Metro Airport, with easy access to planes.
The men were detained and eventually indicted on multiple terrorism and terrorism-related counts. Post 9/11, the Detroit U.S. Attorney’s office did not have a terrorism unit. And since terrorism operates much like organized crime with a Muslim accent, Rick Convertino–star prosecutor for the Organized Crime Strike Force Unit–developed and tried the case.
Convertino eventually got multiple convictions against the Al-Qaeda terrorists, but it was despite constant roadblocks from John Ashcroft’s Justice Department (which claimed to be tough on terror, but did more grandstanding than anything else). U.S. Attorney Collins, who had political ambitions–and felt that courting extremist Muslims in Detroit was the road to those ambitions, opposed the indictment of the Detroit terror cell and tried to stop it.
But he had to answer to the Justice Department, which wanted the case to be its showcase trial on terror. However, Justice Department counter-terrorism officials, such as the incompetent Barry Sabin, also threw obstacles every step of the way. Ditto for other Department higher-ups, Joseph Capone and James Comey (the Assistant U.S. Attorney General now prominent in the NSA wire-tapping stories). Capone came to Detroit to “supervise” Convertino’s trial prep, but spent most of the workday–your taxes pay his salary–playing basketball.
When Convertino obtained convictions against all but one member of the Detroit terror cell, he was invited to testify at the Senate Finance Committee by Sen. Charles Grassley about the document fraud employed by the terrorists. Collins was filled with jealousy and tried to stop it–as did Justice Department officials.
Collins pulled Convertino off the terror cell case (which was being appealed by defense attorneys) and ordered a search of his office.
Oddly, Collins’ minions found a letter authored by his former client, the drug kingpin Butch Jones. Reportedly, the letter–which made no sense–accused George and Barbara Bush of being drug dealers who bought off the electoral process. It also accused a key witness at the terror cell trial of being a liar. (Jurors said, after the trial, that they did not believe the witness, anyway.) Collins claimed the letter–possible exculpatory evidence for the accused terrorists–was never served on defense attorneys in the terror trial and turned it over to defense attorneys as a way to help them overturn Convertino’s terror convictions. (But testimony in the case indicated the letter had, in fact, been turned over. And other information from prisoners discredited Jones’ letter.)
Is it just a coincidence that the letter–written by Collins’ friend and former star client–was found at the same time John Ashcroft was trying to get Butch Jones a death sentence (and Collins was fighting it)? Is it just a coincidence that Butch Jones was placed in a jail cell next to the star terror trial witness?
As one prominent Black Detroit Democrat told me, “Everyone knows that Jeffrey Collins was the General Counsel of Young Boys, Inc. And he still is.”
Collins, the Justice Department, defense attorneys, and the judge in the case, Gerald Rosen–in a strange alliance–eventually overturned the case. And all the terrorists are now free. One is even suing for damages related to being in jail. All because of Butch Jones’ letter.
Butch Jones got a reduced sentence for his letter. Justice Department officials claimed that his letter–which says the Bush family deals drugs–helped them fight the War on Terror. Huh? For that, they took his likely death penalty sentence off the table, and he may now serve less than 30 years for gruesomely murdering tens and possibly hundreds of people.
Rick Convertino’s fortune is different. Collins, the Justice Department, and even Judge Rosen himself, engaged in an anonymous media campaign to discredit Convertino (even while the case was still before Rosen). A grand jury has been convened seeking to indict him for the crime of daring to pursue justice against Islamic terrorists. (A father of five young children, he is now making a successful new life as a defense attorney and recently obtained an acquittal from first-degree murder charges for his client, Jay Morningstar, a Michigan State Trooper who shot a homeless man who appeared to be about to attack him.)
The strange story of Butch Jones is a textbook case in how a major drug dealer can make out well in a phony Justice Department war on terror. If he knows the right people in high places.
And how innocent people get burned, while drug dealers and Islamic terrorists get off.
Tags: al-Qaeda, anonymous media, Assistant Attorney General, attorney, Attorney General, Barbara Bush, Barry Sabin, basketball, Butch Jones, Butch Jones' former attorney, Charles Grassley, Collins, competent attorney, current attorney, Debbie Schlussel, defense attorney, Department of Justice, Detroit Metro Airport, Detroit U.S. Attorney, even Judge, F-16, Federal Bureau of Investigation, founder and chief, General Counsel, George W. Bush, Gerald Rosen, Governor, III, Incirlik, James Comey, Jay Morningstar, Jeffrey Collins, John Ashcroft, John Engler, Joseph Capone, judge, Michigan, Milton "Butch" Jones, Nabil Al-Marabh, Norman street, Organized Crime Strike Force Unit, Osama bin Laden, President, previous attorney, prosecutor, Rick Convertino, Senate Finance Committee, Senator, Stephen Murphy, Strike, then-Republican governor, Turkey, United States, Young Boys Inc.