A violent Westside drug trafficker was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Thursday to 197 months in prison or more than 16 years in prison.
Keith “Butters” Drummond, 41, of Columbus, was sentenced for crimes related to trafficking narcotics and using firearms.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Jonathan McPherson, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Columbus Interim Police Chief Thomas Quinlan announced the sentence handed down today by Chief U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.
In November 2017, a federal grand jury returned a three-count Superseding Indictment against Drummond, charging him with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, including over 28 grams of crack; possession of one or more firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Drummond pleaded guilty to all three charges in July 2018, on the day he was scheduled to stand trial.
The charges resulted from a years-long investigation by the Columbus Division of Police and ATF into Drummond for his drug trafficking and firearms activity on the west side of Columbus, according to court documents.
Beginning as early as 2011, Drummond operated several “trap houses” on the west side of Columbus where he routinely manufactured and sold crack cocaine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana and oxycodone.
His primary trap house was located on North Guilford Avenue, in the “Bottoms” neighborhood.
Drummond routinely enlisted drug addicts to work for him at that residence as a “security” force. He would arm these addicts with firearms and then instruct them to safeguard the house, the drugs and his drug proceeds.
Drummond also kept a firearm at his personal residence and in his vehicle. He was prohibited by law from possessing any firearms due to prior felony convictions for possession of drugs, domestic violence and felonious assault, as well as two prior convictions of misdemeanor domestic violence.
Drummond would often punish people who owed him money for drugs or did not satisfy his requirements as employees.
This violence included physical restraint (whether being duct taped to a wall or locked in a dog cage), choking, pistol-whipping individuals to the point of fracturing their jaws, and sexual assault, including anally assaulting one woman with a broomstick.
“Drummond’s violence in connection with his drug trafficking was so pronounced that dozens of women and community members submitted letters for the Court’s consideration at sentencing. Most of these individuals were unwilling to share their identity with Drummond for fear of their own safety, so the Government culled those statements down to just six for the Court’s review,” U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman said.
“But those six statements tell quite a story: Beatings from Drummond for not selling enough drugs. Scouting out drug addicts on their payday to keep them hooked. Locking women in dog cages and beating them. And threatening, beating, and sexually assaulting women for buying their drugs from anyone else.”
“The defendant has a history of selling drugs, vicious physical assault, and the use of firearms to further his criminal enterprise, despite being prohibited from possessing guns,” stated Jonathan McPherson, ATF’s Special Agent in Charge for the Columbus Field Division. “He is exactly the kind of violent criminal who needs to be removed from our streets, and ATF will continue to work with our partners at the Columbus Division of Police on cases like this to make our community a safer place.”
Glassman commended the cooperative investigation by ATF and the Columbus Division of Police, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin W. Kelley and Noah R. Litton, who are representing the United States in this case.