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Press Release

Jury convicts fentanyl dealer of distribution causing death

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

ST. LOUIS, MO – On September 17, 2020, at the conclusion of a four-day jury trial, Travis Broeker, 36, of St. Louis County, was found guilty of the crimes of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death and conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.  United States District Judge Henry E. Autrey has set sentencing for January 6, 2021 at 11:30 a.m.

The evidence at trial established that on February 28, 2018, at approximately 7:06 p.m., Broeker met the victim on a parking lot of a convenience store and sold him six fentanyl capsules.  The victim returned to his residence in 2800 block of Telegraph, ingested fentanyl, and overdosed.  The victim’s roommate called 911 at 7:27 p.m.  The victim was successfully treated with NARCAN, and released from the hospital late in the evening of February 28.  While the victim was in the hospital, his roommate confiscated his remaining fentanyl and his cell phone for the victim’s safety. 

The victim returned home around midnight where he and his roommate spoke with each other before the roommate went to sleep.  During the early morning hours of March 1, the victim’s roommate found him unresponsive, in a fetal position.  The same paramedics who treated him the previous night responded a second time, and determined that he was “beyond help.”  The victim was pronounced dead at 6:08 a.m., on March 1. 

St. Louis County Police investigators obtained the victim’s remaining fentanyl and cell phone from his roommate.  The police used an undercover detective purporting to be the victim’s friend to contact Broeker, who agreed to distribute additional fentanyl to the victim and the undercover detective.  Broeker enlisted co-defendant Pamela Barton to deliver 20 capsules of fentanyl to the undercover detective.  Barton unwittingly contacted the police to make the fentanyl delivery and was arrested.  Investigators later arrested Broeker, who admitted distributing fentanyl to the victim.   

On January 15, 2020, Judge Autrey sentenced Barton to 60 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl. 

Distribution of fentanyl resulting in death is punishable by a mandatory minimum of 20 years imprisonment up to life.  Conspiracy to distribute fentanyl is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, and the range of punishment for both offenses includes a fine of up to $1,000,000.

The St. Louis County Police Department investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Nauman Wadalawala prosecuted this case for the United States.  


Venton Blandin

Updated September 18, 2020

Drug Trafficking