Drama got a lenient sentence for being a peripheral figure.
When Tekashi 6ix9ine tried to convince a judge that he was deserving of a reduced sentence, he argued that there are many young people who look up to him and that, if released, he would dedicate himself to setting a better example. Of course, what didn't work in Tekashi's favor is that he had been promoting gang activity to a wide audience for a period of time. One person in particular who Tekashi inspired to head down a dangerous path is Denard “Drama” Butler.
According to Complex's report on Butler's sentencing today, he was "an aspiring rapper and entrepreneur drawn to the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods by their association with 6ix9ine as he became a runaway success." It appears that, similar to Tekashi, Butler was more interested in the image of being in a gang, rather than being involved in its activities. On Thursday (Jan. 30), Butler was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison, rather than his plea agreement's recommended range of 77 to 96 months. Judge Paul Engelmayer said this decision was made "in recognition of your secondary role with the gang.”
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Back in June, Butler pleaded guilty to one count of participating in a racketeering enterprise. He became affiliated with the gang when his friend and co-defendant, Roland "Ro Murda" Martin was released from jail in February 2018. While he was involved in multiple violent incidents, he was referred to in the proceedings as “muscle,” a “cheerleader,” a member of the “supporting cast.” Butler's attorney, Kenneth A. Paul, also framed his client's Nine Trey ties in this way: “Quite frankly, my client was a hanger-on. He was interested in the music industry.”
Despite how peripheral of a role Butler played in the gang's operations, Judge Engelmayer couldn't overlook the fact that Butler was old enough to have known better. “He’s 35 at the time he makes a decision to associate with a violent gang on a sustained basis,” the judge said. “That’s bad decision making.” Based on accounts provided by Butler's friends and family, Judge Engelmayer has hope that the defendant could turn his life around upon release. “I see a lot of good in you,” he said at the end of the proceedings. “If you hold yourself up to the aspirations [your friends and family] have for you, you’ll be in a good place.”
Another development in the 6ix9ine/Nine Trey case is that the rapper's former manager, Kifano “Shotti” Jordan, officially parted ways with his attorney on Thursday and requested a new one. At the beginning of January, Shotti's attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, informed the court that he wished to bail on the case because he thought his client's appeal lacked basis. Shotti is currently serving a 15-year sentence.