Drug Enforcement Administration and United States Marshals Service Arrest Man Charged in Fentanyl and Cocaine Conspiracy
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri
ST. LOUIS – Gerald Fitzgerald Hunter, 54, a fugitive in a fentanyl and cocaine distribution conspiracy in St. Louis, was arrested in Los Angeles this week.
A federal complaint filed in April 2017 alleges that the Drug Enforcement Administration was conducting an active investigation of a fentanyl and cocaine distribution organization in St. Louis. Agents identified Hunter of Los Angeles as an out-of-state source of supply for the St. Louis organization. On April 27, 2017, DEA agents seized approximately 27 kilograms of fentanyl in Florissant, Mo. The complaint further alleges that Hunter was holding bags containing the suspected controlled substances before he successfully evaded agents and avoided arrest.
A grand jury indicted Hunter and 10 other individuals for their involvement in the fentanyl and cocaine distribution conspiracy and related charges. Hunter is also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering. Although Hunter’s co-conspirators were apprehended, Hunter successfully evaded arrest since April 2017 until his arrest in Los Angeles this week by the United States Marshals Service. Over the course of the investigation, agents seized over 27 kilograms of fentanyl, cocaine, United States currency, firearms, and hydraulic drug presses.
United States Attorney Jeff Jensen stated, “This is but one example of DEA’s outstanding operational work, which in this case prevented an enormous amount of the dangerous drug fentanyl from reaching the streets of St. Louis.” Jensen further stated, “During National Police Week, it is fitting to recognize not only DEA’s outstanding operational work, but their tremendous partnership with the United States Marshals Service. The skill and determination of the United States Marshals Service directly resulted in the apprehension of this fugitive from justice in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Fentanyl drug trafficking organizations based on the west coast pose a great public safety threat to our community through the distribution of deadly drugs and the associated drug violence in the St. Louis Metro,” said Special Agent in Charge William J. Callahan, head of the DEA St. Louis Division. “This investigation revealed a sophisticated drug trafficking and money laundering network with tentacles stretching from Los Angeles to the streets of St. Louis. I believe these violators felt they could safely avoid being held accountable for their activity. However, for the past three years, the DEA, along with our partners at the United States Marshal’s Service and with the support of the United States Attorney, pursued this defendant in an effort to make St. Louis safer.”
John Jordan, United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Missouri, stated that “The United States Marshals Service is a proud member of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces. The fugitive case regarding Gerald Hunter, who has been on the run since 2017, exemplifies the bloodhound mentality of the men and women of the United States Marshals Service. We will always pursue fugitives like Hunter who do their best to become ghosts to avoid justice. I am especially proud of the U.S. Marshals Service personnel in this case for their relentless pursuit of this fugitive and am proud of our longstanding partnerships in the law enforcement community.”
The charges contained in these indictments are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Marshals Service, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, and the United States Border Patrol. Deputy Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Chief Erin Granger and Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Casey are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Updated May 15, 2020