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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 3, 2019

Cocaine Kingpin with Mexican Cartel Connections and His Associate Plead Guilty to Drug Conspiracy Charges

St. Louis, MO – Adrian “AD” Lemons, 41, of Saint Louis, MO, and Virgil “V.G.” Sims, 34, of Kennett, MO, each pleaded guilty to one count of cocaine conspiracy.  Each man entered his guilty plea before United States District Court Judge Henry E. Autrey on May 3 and May 1, 2019, respectively.  Sentencing for Sims is set for July 30, 2019.  Lemons’ sentencing date is July 31, 2019.    

According to court documents, between 2012 and 2016, Lemons worked with representatives of the Mexican cartel to receive and distribute vast kilogram quantities of cocaine within the City of Saint Louis.  Lemons also supplied large quantities of cocaine to large-scale, mid-level, and street-level drug dealers who also sold cocaine and cocaine base (crack) within the Saint Louis area and beyond.  Virgil Sims was one such dealer who distributed cocaine supplied to him directly by Lemons in Saint Louis as well as the southeast Missouri region.  Sims also undertook efforts to maintain Lemons’ drug trafficking organization once Lemons was federally indicted in January 2016.

As to the larger drug conspiracy, the Mexican cartel coordinated routine bulk shipments of cocaine from Reynosa, Mexico, through the Rio Grande Valley, and then to the Saint Louis, Missouri area.  The cocaine shipments were transported via truck and, in turn, bulk quantities of United States currency were shipped back through the southern United States to Mexico as payment for the cocaine.  During the course of the overall investigation, agents seized firearms; drug trafficking tools; drug ledgers; over 64 kilograms of cocaine; and over $1.3 million directly attributable to Lemons and his associates, including Sims.  Lemons also owned and utilized multiple properties located throughout the City of Saint Louis in furtherance of the drug trafficking conspiracy, including, but not limited to, properties at 11553 Poeggemoeller Avenue; 824 and 1600 McLaran; 6327 Theodosia Avenue; 7230 North Broadway; 8573 Broadway; 877 Wall; and 7118 Idlewild.  Lemons specifically admitted that he was the manager of this extensive criminal enterprise.

Under the drug conspiracy charge, Sims faces a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than forty (40) years in prison.  Under the same charge, Lemons faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and up to life imprisonment.  In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.  At sentencing the United States and Sims will recommend a five-year term of imprisonment.  As to Lemons, the parties will be recommending 20 years in prison.

Lemons and Sims are two of 34 defendants named in federal indictments consisting of charges related to drug trafficking and drug trafficking related violence, including multiple homicides.  In November 2018, the United States Attorney General directed the United States Attorney’s Office to seek the death penalty against one of those defendants, Anthony “TT” Jordan.  Jordan has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.  He is presumed innocent until the United States proves him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations; Drug Enforcement Administration; Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department; the Kennett, Missouri, Police Department; the United States Marshals Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Updated May 3, 2019