Drugs and guns send man to prison
West Vincent resident pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and prohibited offensive weapons
WEST CHESTER >> A West Vincent man who caused a scare earlier this year when police found a large number of guns, materials for bombs, and drugs at his township home was sentenced to prison on drug and weapons charges Tuesday.
William Alexander Butler, 23, of Fellowship Road, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and prohibited offensive weapons before Common Pleas Court Judge Phyllis Streitel, and was sentenced to five to 23 months in Chester County Prison as part of an agreement between the prosecution and his attorneys.
Butler, who reportedly suffers from a variety of mental health issues, was led from the courtroom in handcuffs to begin serving his sentence, as family members, including his mother, looked on.
In addition to the time he spends in prison, Butler will also be on probation for three years. He was represented by attorneys Robert Donatoni and Stuart Crichton of West Chester. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kevin Pierce of the DA’s Drug Unit.
The incident that brought Butler to court unfolded about 2:30 p.m. Jan. 31 when West Vincent Officer Justin Fritz responded to a disturbance in the 800 block of Fellowship Road in Chester Springs. According to the police report, the 911 caller advised police that Butler was at the residence and was “known to carry knives and guns and use hard drugs.”
Upon police arrival, Butler’s mother, Susan Butler, advised the officer that her son was allegedly armed with a .357 magnum handgun and that “if anyone called
the police he was going to shoot his girlfriend,” Caroline Hennessey, who was with him inside a barn on the property. As police began to arrive, Hennessey exited the barn and ran to police. She told them that Butler reportedly had several firearms with him.
Police said a few moments later Butler exited the barn and he was taken into custody without incident.
Shortly after the incident and while in custody, Butler asked a police officer if he could return to the
barn he just exited, to close a safe and lock it. Butler reportedly told police that he had things in there that could get him arrested.
Police conducted a search warrant later that night in the barn. Police said they located five long guns and one revolver, as well as a device that was later determined to be an illegal “zip gun” loaded with a live round and a nail.
Additionally, police said they seized pipes of various sizes with end caps on them, a fuse cord, black powder, wool pads, various size wires, voltage reader and various other pipe fittings. These materials can be used to produce pipe
bombs, police said, however no completed pipe bombs were located.
Fritz said the safe contained a crystallized substance found packaged in a Tupperware container the size of golf ball that tested and confirmed as methamphetamine. They said they also found approximately three other crystallized substances, the size of highlighter caps, in a small plastic baggie. Police said they tested and confirmed a white substance, found in a metal and a glass sugar jar, as amphetamine.