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Press Release

Man and Woman Plead Guilty to Distributing Heroin that Resulted in Death

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

St. Louis, MO – Today, Anthony Marion, a/k/a “Bird,” 33, and Lauren Nicole Martinez, a/k/a “Nikki,” 30, both from St. Charles, Missouri, entered guilty pleas related to heroin distribution that resulted in death from the use of such heroin.  Marion pleaded guilty to one count of distributing heroin resulting in death.  Martinez pleaded guilty to one count of heroin distribution.  Both appeared before the Honorable Rodney W. Sippel to change and enter their respective guilty pleas.

According to court documents, Martinez agreed to provide two individuals with heroin on February 26, 2016.  She contacted her source, Marion, who met Martinez in the parking lot of a White Castle restaurant in St. Charles, Missouri.  There, Marion provided heroin to Martinez, who then provided it to the victim.  At the time she distributed the heroin, Martinez described it as “strong” and cautioned the victim to be careful.  During a later interview, Martinez admitted that she knew multiple people who had overdosed on heroin. 

Despite learning of the individual’s death, Martinez and Marion continued to distribute heroin in the subsequent weeks and months.  As part of the on-going investigation into the heroin-related death, investigators arranged and made a controlled purchased of heroin from Marion and Martinez in March 2016.  On May 9, 2016, Marion was arrested in the possession of heroin and a firearm.

U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen commended the effectiveness of the investigative team and prosecutor in achieving today’s guilty pleas, “Heroin kills.  It is as simple as that.  Heroin dealers -- whether they kill someone or not -- will be facing long sentences.”  This investigation exemplifies both of those points.”

Sentencing for Marion is set for June 14, 2019.  He faces a term of imprisonment of not less than 20 years and up to life imprisonment and a fine $1 million.  Martinez’s sentencing date is June 7, 2019.  She faces imprisonment of up to 20 years.  In determining the actual sentence, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provides recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the O’Fallon Police Department, and the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task.

Updated March 5, 2019