Home African-American Sylvester Seal Murray and Young Boys Inc | Detroit Drug Organization

Sylvester Seal Murray and Young Boys Inc | Detroit Drug Organization

Sylvester Seal Murray and Young Boys Inc | Detroit Drug Organization

During July, 1982, Drug Enforcement agents received information from an informant that Sylvester Murray had traveled to Los Angeles, California for the purpose of making arrangements to purchase more than four pounds of brown Mexican heroin. Subsequent investigation resulted in a stop of two young men from Detroit at the Los Angeles International Airport and the seizure of approximately $194,000 in cash which was destined for Mu:rray’ s drug source of supply in California. Another order authorizing the interception of wire communications from a telephone located at a Detroit, residence used extensively by members of Young Boys, Inc to drop narcotics proceeds or relay messages to Butch Jones was obtained in September, 1982. Numerous phone conversations regarding money were intercepted and other members of the group were implicated. Contemporaneous with these efforts, the cooperation of several members of the organization was obtained. These accomplice witnesses provided a definite outline of the organization.


Milton David “Butch” Jones was convicted of manslaughter at the age of 17 in 1975 and was sentenced to 7~ to 15 years imprisonment. Subsequent to his release from prison and  during the winter of 1980, Butch Jones assembled a group of young men from his neighborhood, the Monterey-Dexter area, of Detroit on a playground. Jones told this group that he would “make them all millionaires.” From the onset, Jones instructed the group on how to cut heroin and what price to charge. Jones and the others took on the name Young Boys, Inc which had been utilized by a smaller, less well-organized group of persons selling heroin in the city of Detroit. Jones did not use narcotics, drink or pursue the “night life”  His natural leadership abilities parlayed the group into an organization that included upwards of 300 members by the end of 1982. Jones discouraged use of drugs by upper echelon members and preached to the group that they could “get high” on money, automobiles, clothes and jewelry”

Young Boys inc detroit
Young Boys Inc Heroin dealers

Photographs seized at the time of the raid on the Jones’ home  and on other occasions depict YBI members counting large sums of cash or posing with cash, jewelry or luxury automobiles. Butch Jones, or other trusted individuals, would obtain large quantities of “raw” heroin product, much of it from Murray. The heroin would be transported to a “hook up” house. The process of “hooking up” involved cutting or mixing the heroin with quantities of lactose, dormin and quinine and packaging it for distribution. More than a half dozen individuals worked at long tables for several hours to accomplish the task. After the heroin was cut, it would then be spooned into hundreds of individual coin envelopes. The coin envelopes had been previously stamped with brand names or logos distinctive to the group. Brand name stamps utilized included names such as “Hoochie-Con”, “Murder One”, “Rolls Royce”, “CBS”, “Whipcraker”  These envelopes would be sealed and placed into groups of ten, referred to as “bundles”  Ten coin envelopes were placed in each “bundle” for purpose of accounting and everyone knew, then, that each bundle was worth $100.00 in revenues to be returned.

Various “bundles” were placed in paper bags with the location for distribution, the number of bundles and the expected revenues written on the outside of each bag. A shorthand or code was utilized. The bags would then be transported by other members of the organization in the early morning hours to various locations referred to as “spots”. These drop-off areas included apartment buildings in various public housing projects in the city, as well as apartments and houses in other portions of the city, as well as Highland Park, and other areas. Each “spot” was supervised by a selected individual referred to as a “top dog”. From the “spots”, the heroin was thereafter distributed to “runners” who would sell the heroin either from various apartments, houses or street locations. All “bags” had to be dropped and distributed to the runners by 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. each day. Runners not at their posts on time were dismissed. As police pressure increased during mid-1982, the “hooking up” process shifted to the early morning hours between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. because there were generally fewer narcotics officers on duty after midnight.  *ylvester Murray in addition to supplying Young Boys, Inc. had his own persons selling heroin “mixed jive”) to drug addicts and these persons utilized the stamp “Real Dope”, “R.D.” or “Original R.D.”

The process of “hooking up” was one which was performed on a regular basis by upwards of a half-dozen trusted individuals referred to as the “hook up” crew. At times separate hook up crews worked under the supervision of both Butch Jones and his chief lieutenant Timothy Peoples. During one intercepted conversation between Sylvester Murray and Butch Jones, in May, 1982, Jones indicated that they would be “hooking up” all night. Murray extolled the quality of the narcotics he was having delivered to Jones by indicating that “it could kill’em” … “it will kill them”, i.e., it was high quality. The meaning of Sylvester Murray’s words were underscored at trial by the testimony of a middle-aged businessman who sold large quantities of quinine, coin envelopes and dormin to Sylvester Murray and members of YBI at a patent medicine store. This witness had also been provided with cocaine as a “gratuity” from Murray at the time of large purchases and admitted to a drug abuse problem. The witness described his feeling at having used heroin, indicating it made him feel “lost from the world’.



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