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May 16, 2013

Brothers plead guilty to armed bank robberies

Two brothers from Quinlan, arrested following an August 2012 shootout with the FBI, have each pleaded guilty to multiple federal charges, including two counts of armed bank robbery.

Johnny Charles Butler, 45, appeared Wednesday afternoon before U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis in Dallas and pleaded guilty to two counts of armed bank robbery, one count of assaulting a federal officer and one count of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

 James Robert Cleveland Butler, 44, pleaded guilty in February to two counts of armed bank robbery and one count of using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Both have been in custody since their arrest.

According to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas, if the court accepts the terms of the plea agreements, the parties agree that the appropriate term of imprisonment is 35 years in federal prison for Johnny Charles Butler and 25 years imprisonment for James Robert Cleveland Butler.

According to documents filed in the case, both Johnny Butler and James Butler admitted committing the armed, takeover-style robberies of the Bank of America, 100 West Highway 80 in Forney on Nov. 25, 2011 and May 18, 2012.

Johnny Butler also admits firing three shots from a .357 caliber pistol at SWAT agents while they were attempting to execute a federal search warrant at his Quinlan residence on Aug. 2, 2012.

The FBI was reported to have raided the home in the 10000 block of Cany Drive at around 6 a.m. that morning, leading to the exchange of gunfire. Johnny Butler was slightly wounded and was treated and released from the Hunt Regional Healthcare Center in Greenville.

On June 7, 2012 a Garland police officer assigned to the Safe Street Violent Crime Task Force with the FBI received information from a confidential informant that the Butlers were responsible for numerous armed, “takeover-style” bank robberies.

According to the complaint, at the time of the raid the Butlers refused to exit the residence and the agents lobbed tear gas into the home, at which time the shots were exchanged. Negotiators made contact with the brothers and learned Johnny Butler had been shot in the shoulder.

After being treated and taken into custody, Johnny Butler was reported to have admitted to the bank robbery in Forney, adding he and his brother were responsible for four other bank robberies in the Dallas area. James Butler later corroborated his brother’s statement.

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