Judge sentences St. Louis County man for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl
ST. LOUIS – United States District Judge Stephen R. Clark sentenced Lewis Brown to 135 months in prison today. The 44-year-old Florissant, Missouri resident pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
Beginning in October 2017, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents conducted an investigation into the distribution of controlled substances, including fentanyl, in the Eastern District of Missouri. On November 15, 2017, officers with the McAlester, Oklahoma Police Department stopped a car for speeding. Occupants of the vehicle included Brown, his two co-defendants, and the registered owner of the vehicle. Officers seized narcotics, drug paraphernalia, and $10,499 in cash from the car.
Investigators obtained a court-authorized warrant to install a GPS tracker on a car known to be driven by Brown and a co-defendant. The tracking device revealed the vehicle repeatedly traveled to a residence in the 24000 block of Sweet Lane in Waynesville, Missouri.
Agents observed multiple cars, including the car stopped for speeding in Oklahoma, make brief stops at the residence and depart shortly after, which is a common indicator of narcotics sales. The court issued a search warrant for the residence, which investigators executed on February 14, 2018. During the execution of the warrant, investigators took into custody one of Brown’s co-defendants. Officers also seized a home surveillance system, various firearms and narcotics, and cell phones.
A search warrant obtained and executed on the seized home surveillance system revealed Wilkins and a co-defendant were using the home on Sweet Lane to distribute narcotics, including fentanyl, in Waynesville.
In July 2018, investigators conducted a controlled purchase of approximately 30 grams of fentanyl and 10 grams of crack cocaine from Brown in St. Louis County. Brown conducted a hand-to-hand transaction with a confidential informant in exchange for money. Following that sale, officers searched a home in the 1200 block of Chaparall Creek Drive in Hazelwood where Brown was found to be in possession of $29,812 in cash and multiple cell phones containing a co-defendants’ contact information. Investigators also discovered an electric grinder and digital scale both containing drug residue.
Investigators subsequently learned that Brown traveled to Pulaski County two times a week for more than a year to deliver narcotics for distribution.
“Working together with other agencies pays off and helps rid our communities of drugs and illegal possession of firearms,” said Pulaski County Sheriff Jimmy Bench.
“The joint cooperation between local and federal agencies is imperative to the successful apprehension and prosecution of individuals who engage in continuing criminal activity,” said St. Louis County Police Chief Mary Barton.
The FBI, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and St. Louis County Police Department investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Geoffrey Ogden is handling the case.