Five Individuals Arrested in Far-Reaching Drug Conspiracy Cases, Weapons Seized
St. Louis – A team lead by the St. Louis Division of the DEA executed arrest warrants this morning in St. Louis and Los Angeles and took five individuals into custody for their involvement in two drug conspiracies which distributed large quantities of heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine.
Christopher Bryant, Jr., 43, of St. Louis, MO, and Kelvis Smith, 51, Chicago, IL, are alleged to have been a part of a heroin and cocaine conspiracy during 2016-2017 and face prison terms of 10 years to life if convicted. Bryant is also accused of money laundering by negotiating by purchasing six cashier checks totaling $50,000 with the proceeds of illegal narcotics. Bryant was arrested this morning in St. Louis. In the course of the arrest, law enforcement seized four firearms, three long rifles and an assault rifle, from Bryant’s residence.
Eric White, 44, of St. Louis, MO; Jackson Uvalle, also known as “Stallion”, 30, of Diamond Bar, CA; Derrick Mitchell, 43, of St. Louis, MO; and Luis Piril, 29, of Los Angeles, CA; are alleged to have been a part of a fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine distribution ring that ran through March 2018. They also face terms of imprisonment of 10 years to life if convicted. White and Mitchell were arrested this morning in St. Louis. Uvalle and Piril were arrested this morning in the Los Angeles area.
The charges in the Indictment are only accusations and all the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
William Callahan, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA St. Louis Division said “the DEA and our federal, state and local law enforcement counterparts are committed to expanding investigations beyond the Missouri state line and bringing offenders who deal in dangerous drugs in our community back to face justice.”
Inspector in Charge Craig Goldberg, who heads the Chicago Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service which includes the St. Louis Field Office, stated, “Today’s arrests are a testament to the commitment of the Postal Inspection Service and its law enforcement partners to protect postal employees, customers, and the public at large from those who attempt to use the nation’s mail system to traffic dangerous illegal narcotics.”
“Today’s arrests are a culmination of an extensive joint law enforcement effort to dismantle criminal enterprises that threaten the safety and security of the law-abiding public,” said James Gibbons, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations-Chicago.
In addition to the DEA St. Louis Division, the case was investigated by the United States Postal States Postal Inspection Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Kirkwood Police Department, the St. Charles Police Department, the St. Peters Police Department, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force. AUSA Beth Orwick is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.