LIBERTY, Mo. — A drug deal turned robbery lead to the arrest of Lance Butler after he unknowingly tried to rip off an undercover deputy sheriff. On May 17, 2012, Butler met the deputy, who worked for the Clay County Drug Squad, at a parking lot at NE Vivion Road and North Antioch Road.
A press release indicated that Butler stuck a gun in the deputy’s face in the process or robbing her. He was apprehended by Kansas City police after the armed robbery call was dispatched. He was charged with first-degree robbery and armed criminal action and later convicted for both counts on June 4.
Butler was sentenced to 30 years in prison for first-degree robbery and 20 years for armed criminal action on Wednesday. The sentences run consecutively, resulting in the 50-year sentence. Butler has prior convictions and he will likely be required to serve at least 45 years of the sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel White said in the release that multiple errors in judgment landed Butler in prison.
“I tell young people that rarely is it one dumb thing, one bad decision, which ruins a person’s life. Rather, it’s several bad decisions like we see exemplified here,” White said.
Butler reportedly told prosecutors that he would plead guilty to theft, which carries a maximum punishment of seven years. Without that plea deal, Butler wanted a trial by jury, which he got and was ultimately convicted.
Despite the drug deal front, Butler received no drug related charges. Jim Roberts, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, said that Butler never executed the drug deal, which is why he wasn’t arrested or charged for drug related crimes.