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Yanfeng shooter pleads in federal court

David Jerome Butler

A Simpsonville man who opened fire and injured to co-workers in early May at the Yanfeng Global Automotive Interiors manufacturing plant in Fountain Inn accepted a plea deal Friday in federal court.

David Jerome Butler, 43, pled guilty in Greenville to felon in possession of a firearm, which carries a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Bruce H. Hendricks accepted the plea and will impose sentence after U.S. Probation prepares a pre-sentence report.

Butler turned himself in to Fountain Inn police several days after the May 5 shooting and initially faced attempted murder charges after being taken into custody by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office. Neither of the victims injured in the shooting suffered life-threatening injuries.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Butler’s case was expedited for prosecution under “Operation Real Time,” which identifies individuals for federal prosecution with “significant criminal histories who continue to actively possess firearms in the Upstate community.”

Operation Real Time has expedited the federal prosecution of more than 120 defendants and resulted in the seizure of more than 160 firearms and ammunition in the Upstate.

U.S. Attorney Beth Drake said the operation is a collaborative effort between local, state and federal agencies.

“We work best when we work together,” Drake said. “This real-time identification of high-risk offenders is smart policing and we welcome the opportunithy to work alongside our state chiefs and sheriffs in taking violent repeat offenders out of our communities.”


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