Obama commutes local man's sentence for drug conviction - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Obama commutes local man's sentence for drug conviction

President Barack Obama reduced the sentence of a Belton man who was convicted of crack cocaine charges back in 1993.

Billy Ray Wheelock was convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute more than 5 grams of crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

Wheelock was sentenced to life imprisonment, 10 years supervised release and a $3,000 fine in 1993.

As part of the commutation grant, Wheelock is now set to be released from prison April 17, 2014.

President Obama commuted the sentences of eight federal inmates on Thursday, who were convicted of drug offenses. The eight men who had their sentences commuted, would have likely received shorter sentences if they had been sentenced under current drug laws, sentencing rules and charging policies.

This was part of Obama's push to reduce severe penalties for older drug offenses.

"If they had been sentenced under the current law, many of them would have already served their time and paid their debt to society,” President Obama said. “Instead, because of a disparity in the law that is now recognized as unjust, they remain in prison, separated from their families and their communities, at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars each year."
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