SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. – Outgoing President Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of a Spring Valley man who had been serving 20 years in federal prison for selling cocaine, according to a statement from the White House .
John McCallum, who began serving his sentence in 2008, will now be eligible for release on May 19, the White House said.
McCallum was convicted in federal court of narcotics conspiracy and two counts of distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, according to the White House, which said that he was sentenced on Jan. 9, 2008 to 20 years in prison and 10 years of probation upon his release.
According to a 2008 statement released by the United States Attorney’s Office at the time of the sentencing, McCallum – who was convicted by a jury of his peers – partnered with another man to sell hundreds of grams of crack cocaine in Spring Valley in 2004 and 2005.
On May 10, 2005, Ramapo police searched the apartment in which McCallum and his partner had been living and confiscated 300 grams of crack cocaine, federal authorities said, adding that McCallum fled and was later arrested by the United States Marshals Service in Pottstown, Pennsylvania on Dec. 22 of that year.
McCallum was one of 330 convicted criminals whose commutation was announced Thursday -- Obama's final full day in office -- according to the White House, which said that the 44th president commuted 1,715 convicted criminals in total, including more than 560 who had been serving life sentences.
"The vast majority of these men and women are serving unduly long sentences for drug crimes," said Neil Eggleston, counsel to the president, in a White House Blog post . "With today’s action, the president has granted more commutations than any president in this nation’s history and has surpassed the number of commutations granted by the past 13 presidents combined."