As he nears the end of his historic presidential term, President Barack Obama is leaving his mark by freeing thousands of non-violent drug offenders under reformed sentencing policies. Yesterday, President Obama sprung 61 more federal prisoners. One of the reforms was the reduction on sentencing for crack, which carried more harsh penalties than powder cocaine. Due to this change, one of the prisoners to have his sentence commuted by the POTUS is John “Boo” Milton, the biggest cocaine dealer to ever do it the city of Baton Rouge.
Boo Milton was sentenced to 50 years in the feds in 1997. Though a federal probation officer estimated that Milton flooded Baton Rouge with 210 pounds of cocaine powder and rocks from 1992 to 1996, the sentencing judge was certain that number was too low. The Advocate reports:
Milton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute powder cocaine and crack cocaine in a deal with prosecutors in exchange for testimony against three co-defendants.
Witnesses at Milton’s 1997 sentencing hearing recounted how he lived in a posh Houston hotel and brazenly sent cocaine shipments back to Baton Rouge even after his March 1996 indictment here. A convicted drug dealer testified Milton drove a Porsche and bought a BMW and diamond-studded gold jewelry with cash.
The late U.S. District Judge Frank Polozola, who sentenced Milton, called the amount of drugs in the case “astonishing.”
His organization and operation was also detailed:
Federal prosecutors have said the drug ring run by Milton used a house on Wisteria Street, fortified against police and thieves with heavy bars, and several other places to make and sell crack cocaine. Members of the ring used a microwave oven to cook powder cocaine into crack — a hard, rock-like substance that is smoked.
Some of the cocaine shipped from Houston was carried by female couriers who drove behind decoy cars sent to distract police, according to the testimony of one of the defendants. The traffickers sometimes packed the cocaine in plastic wrap, surrounded by layers of peanut butter and fabric softener, in an effort to keep drug dogs from smelling the cocaine if the traffickers were stopped by law enforcement, prosecutors said.
Milton has served 19 years at a federal prison in Alabama. During his bid,he has worked with poorly educated inmates to enhance their reading and writing abilities. He also earned degrees in Christian education and Christian counseling, and served as a prison facility minister, with the blessing of the chaplain there.
He is scheduled for release on July 28.