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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Ring Leader Pleads Guilty to Drugs and Murder Charges

St. Louis, MO – Dionne Lamont Gatling, a/k/a “Cuffy,” 53, of St. Charles, MO, pled guilty to various drug trafficking charges and the use of firearms resulting in death.  Gatling appeared today before U.S. District Judge Rodney W. Sippel who accepted his plea and set his sentencing date for May 17, 2019.

According to court documents, Dionne Gatling was the leader and organizer of the Gatling Drug Trafficking Organization which brought heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs to the St. Louis area from 2009 to 2014.  Gatling arranged for the murders of Theodis Howard and Terrance Morgan.  Gatling organized the 2010 murder of Howard as retaliation for Howard’s previous cooperation against Gatling’s brother for drug trafficking.  Gatling directed Andre Rush, another conspirator, to kill Morgan in 2013 in order to prevent Morgan from cooperating in the present investigation.

Gatling pled guilty to the following charges:  1) conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; 2) conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 1 kilogram or more of heroin; 3) attempt to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin; 4) attempt to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine; and 5) possession of one or more firearms in furtherance of drug-trafficking crime, with deaths resulting.  Each of the charges includes a penalty of not less than ten years imprisonment up to life, with the firearms offense required by law to run consecutively to the drug trafficking charges.  The parties have recommended a total term of imprisonment of 27 years for all of the offenses.  United States District Judge Rodney W. Sippel will determine the appropriate sentenced to be imposed.  In determining any actual sentence to be imposed, a judge is required to consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges. 

This case was investigated by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Internal Revenue Service.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated February 12, 2019