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Press Release

California Man Sentenced on Federal Conspiracy Charges for Distributing Drugs Via a Commercial Air Carrier

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

St. Louis, MO – Francis Frost, Sante Fe Springs, CA, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of conspiring to import and distribute methamphetamine and cocaine into the St. Louis area via the commercial airlines, and for conspiring to violate airport security requirements. 


Two co-defendants, Poe Purcell and Chalamar Schultz Tuipelehake, have pled guilty to related charges and await sentencing later this year.


According to court documents, Purcell began working as an American Airlines Cargo Fleet Service Clerk at Los Angeles International Airport in 2001.  During the course of the conspiracy, including the time period between February and May 2015, Tuipelehake arranged for California drug traffickers to transport illegal controlled substances from Los Angeles, California, on commercial airliners using Purcell’s position with the airlines to avoid detection and facilitate the transport.  Frost’s role involved retrieving the suitcases containing the drugs and distributing the drugs.


This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration in St. Louis and Orange County, California, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in St. Louis, Los Angeles and LAX Airport.

Updated October 27, 2016

Drug Trafficking