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Press Release

Jury finds local man guilty of distributing fentanyl that resulted in the death of another

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

ST. LOUIS –Gerald E. Cardwell, Jr. of O’Fallon, Missouri was found guilty by a jury after deliberations yesterday at the conclusion of a four-day trial held at the Thomas Eagleton Federal Courthouse.  


Cardwell was charged in 2019 for knowingly and intentionally distributing a controlled substance, that led to the death of an individual from the use of the controlled substance distributed by Cardwell. 


Evidence presented at trial revealed that the victim had picked Cardwell up from the Hollywood Casino Hotel on the night of July 25, 2019.  In the early morning hours of July 26, 2019, Cardwell gave the victim a “special mix” of fentanyl and Adderall, sending text messages to a third-party witness that the victim was “TKO” in the car.  Surveillance video obtained from Hollywood Casino Hotel depicted Cardwell, the victim, and the third-party witness enter the hotel shortly before 2 a.m. The third party left approximately ten minutes later, leaving Cardwell and the victim in the hotel room.  Cardwell departed at 10:00 the following morning.  Housekeeping staff found the victim deceased in the room at approximately 3:15 that afternoon.  Evidence at trial suggested that he had been deceased for 8-10 hours.  The St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the victim died of fentanyl and ethanol intoxication.  However, two toxicologists testified that the victim’s blood alcohol content at the time of his death was .03.  According to the Medical Examiner, that small amount of alcohol could not have caused the victim’s death.


Cardwell is facing a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole on March 3, 2022 at his next appearance in front of United States District Judge John A. Ross. 


The case was investigated by the Maryland Heights Police Department.

Updated November 22, 2021