Chris Butler wasn’t just dishonest; he was incredibly corrupt and megalomaniacal,” says Crooks. “It seems as if he was trying to be the star of Magnum, P.I. and Scarface at the same time.
Walnut Creek, CA (PRWEB) March 21, 2011
Diablo magazine’s April cover story gives readers the inside story on how a confidential informant and the State of California’s Department of Justice brought down Chris Butler, a former SWAT police officer turned private investigator, and Norm Wielsch, the former commander of the Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team (CCCNET).
Senior Editor Peter Crooks, who had been writing a feature about Butler’s detective firm, was tipped to the illegal drug deals by an anonymous source. Crooks helped the source get to the Department of Justice and go undercover, which led to the arrest of Butler and Wielsch. Both individuals could face more than 25 years in prison for the 28 felony counts they have each been charged with. The charges include selling crystal methamphetamine, anabolic steroids, and marijuana.
In a gripping 10,000-word magazine piece, Crooks tells how his involvement on the story started with a salacious ride-along with Butler’s team of “PI Moms,” a few weeks before Butler and the PI Moms were scheduled to start filming a reality show for Lifetime Television. In a case of truth being stranger than fiction, Crooks learned his ride-along had been a fake, scripted and acted by decoys. Crooks also discovered that Butler had staged cases for national media outlets, including People magazine and the Dr. Phil show. From there, the story turns into a twisted tale involving illegal narcotics sales, product placement firearms, dirty DUI stings, and the terrifying possibility of military-grade explosives posing a threat to the community.
After more than seven months on this story, Crooks is relieved that law enforcement was able to make a case against Butler and Wielsch. “Chris Butler wasn’t just dishonest; he was incredibly corrupt and megalomaniacal,” says Crooks. “It seems as if he was trying to be the star of Magnum, P.I. and Scarface at the same time.”
Barney Fonzi, Group Publisher of Diablo magazine, states “We’re very proud of Pete for his dedication, editorial integrity, tenacity and journalistic instincts. Pete was able to create an incredible story for Diablo magazine’s readers, and at the same time provide a valuable service to our community.”
Diablo magazine is sold at major outlets throughout the East Bay including Borders, Barnes & Noble, Safeway, Whole Foods and is delivered to over 40,000 homes and businesses.
You can also read the story on http://www.diablomag.com/thesetup/
About Diablo Publications
For over 32 years, Diablo Publications has been creating award-winning publications, including Diablo magazine, Napa Sonoma magazine, Diablo Arts, and the Tri-Valley California Visitors Guide. Covering travel, theater, lifestyle, and home design, Diablo Publications celebrates the people, places, and pleasure of the East Bay and North Bay. Diablo Publications’ custom publishing division, Diablo Custom Publishing (DCP), provides complete print and online marketing communications and customer publishing services for corporate clients nationwide. For more information, visit diablomag.com (http://www.diablomag.com) or dcpubs.com.