DALLAS—A federal grand jury returned an indictment late yesterday charging James Robert Cleveland Butler, 43, and his brother, Johnny Charles Butler, 45, with offenses related to two armed bank robberies in Forney, Texas, and the August 2, 2012, armed assault on a federal officer, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. The defendants have been in custody since their arrest on August 2 at their residence in Quinlan, Texas.
Specifically, the five-count indictment charges each defendant with two counts of armed bank robbery and one count of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of, a crime of violence. The indictment also charges defendant Johnny Charles Butler with one count of assault on a federal officer and one count of using, carrying, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
The indictment alleges that the two defendants committed the November 25, 2011 and May 18, 2012 armed bank robberies of Bank of America located at 100 West U.S. Highway 80 in Forney, Texas. According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, during the May 18, 2012 robbery, the defendants entered the bank with guns drawn and ordered customers and bank employees to the floor; one of the defendants pointed a gun at a teller and demanded that she open the bank teller drawers. As the defendants left the bank with cash, they told everyone to count to 100 before getting off the floor.
The same affidavit states that on August 2, 2012, when a search warrant was executed at their residence in Quinlan, both defendants initially refused to exit the residence. While gas was deployed into the residence by law enforcement, shots were fired from the residence at SWAT agents and an agent returned fire. Negotiators were able to contact the defendants and determined that Johnny Charles Butler had been shot in the shoulder. Defendants surrendered and were arrested.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the maximum statutory penalty for each count is:
■armed bank robbery—25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine;
■using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence—mandatory seven years in prison and a $250,000 fine;
■assault on a federal officer—20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and
■using, carrying, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence—25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The investigation, which continues, is being conducted by the Safe Street Violent Crime Task Force of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Robinson.