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Press Release

Judge sentences man on drug charges, assault on federal law enforcement officer

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

ST. LOUIS – Brian Lawrence, 33, of St. Louis County, was sentenced yesterday to 70 months imprisonment by United States District Judge Rodney W. Sippel after pleading guilty to his involvement in conspiring to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and to assaulting a federal law enforcement officer.

According to the plea agreement, in April 2019, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents with the Department of Homeland Security in El Paso, Texas, posing undercover as suppliers of illegal drugs, made contact with co-defendant Terrell Reid, who was seeking to purchase 10 kilograms of cocaine for further distribution in the St. Louis area. The undercover agents agreed to sell the cocaine to Reid at a price of $29,000 per kilogram and that they would bring the cocaine to St. Louis.

Undercover agents agreed to meet Reid at a Best Western hotel in St. Charles, Missouri, on April 16, 2019, to deliver the cocaine.  Prior to the April 16, 2019, meeting, Reid had brokered a deal with several individuals looking to purchase the cocaine in the St. Louis area, including Lawrence and co-defendant Bobby Robinson.  Lawrence agreed to purchase one kilogram of cocaine through Reid, for $30,500, which he then intended to distribute to others.

On April 16, 2019, Lawrence met with Reid in the parking lot of the Best Western, where undercover agents were posing as suppliers of cocaine and additional HSI agents were conducting surveillance.  After Reid met with the undercover agents and examined the cocaine inside the hotel, Reid returned to the parking lot, where Lawrence provided Reid with $30,500 in cash to purchase the kilogram of cocaine on Lawrence’s behalf.  Reid also collected $61,000 in cash from Robinson in the parking lot to purchase two kilograms of cocaine.  Reid then took the money into the hotel and provided it to the undercover agents, who agreed to deliver the cocaine to Reid’s customers waiting outside.

As delivery of the cocaine was made to Robinson, HSI agents arrested him.  Observing the arrest of Robinson, Lawrence attempted to flee in his vehicle. While speeding off the Best Western parking lot to escape, Lawrence drove directly at an HSI agent who trying to stop him.  Fearing for his life and the life of another agent in Lawrence’s path, the agent fired his firearm at Lawrence’s car, striking the hood of the vehicle.

Both co-defendants Reid and Robinson are awaiting trial, and are presumed innocent of the charges.

Homeland Security Investigations is investigating this case with assistance from the St. Charles Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Yemm is handling this case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


Venton Blandin

Updated September 10, 2020

Drug Trafficking