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The prosecution of a major drug ring in Butler County is coming to a close
March 07, 2007

Press Release For Immediate Release December 18, 2006

(Hamilton, Ohio) The prosecution of a major drug ring in Butler County is coming to a close. For the last year, County Prosecutor Robin Piper and Assistant Prosecutor Dan Eichel have been taking to trial a series of defendants indicted under an organized crime activity statute, as well as conspiracy charges involving the murder of Jeff Thomas.

In September 2006, Kevin Hubbard was convicted and sentenced for the actual murder of Jeff Thomas and is now serving life in prison without parole. His accomplice, Shawn Little, began cooperating with law enforcement and is serving 21 years for his involvement. Justin Bach is also serving life in prison in the federal system and will soon be entering a guilty plea on his State charges.

On November 2, 2006, Paul David Lawwill was convicted after a four day jury trial on charges of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity and Conspiracy to Commitment Aggravated Murder. Today, Lawwill was sentenced before the Honorable Judge Oney.

Lawwill’s wife made a lengthy statement on his behalf and among other things, indicated that he had been known for his leadership skills. However, the victim’s father, Delbert Thomas, spoke on behalf of his murdered son, indicating that it was indeed a tragedy for Lawwill to use leadership skills in order to lead discussions developing the conspiracy to murder his son.

Judge Oney sentenced Lawwill to six years on the Corrupt Activity charge, consecutive to nine years on the Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Murder charge. This 15 year sentence was ordered to run consecutive to 14 years Lawwill is already serving on federal charges involving the distribution of narcotics.

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rosecutor Piper stated “These young men made millions of dollars in the drug trade. In order to protect their activities, and their money, they conspired to have Jeff Thomas murdered. While the actual killer will spend life behind bars, the two individuals who got the ball rolling will spend nearly 30 years in prison. Those who think the drug trade doesn’t involve violence are wrong. Jeff Thomas will never be able to spend time with his family and the sentence Judge Oney delivered today is very appropriate. While Federal authorities have confiscated all the assets of these wrong-doers, their murderous plots can only be countered with severe sentences like the one Judge Oney gave today.”

Prosecutor Piper went on the say “The cases could not have been prosecuted without the thorough investigation of the Warren County Drug Task Force. They gathered an abundance of information through dozens and dozens of interviews and solved a murder case. Their work was excellent and we are now holding the drug dealers accountable!”

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For more information contact the Prosecutor's Office at (513) 887-3474
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