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Press Release

St. Louis County Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Selling Fake Pain Pills Containing Fentanyl

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

ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge John A. Ross on Thursday sentenced a man to 15 years in prison for selling the fake prescription pain pills containing fentanyl that killed a St. Charles County man last year.

Andrew Kendall Edwards, 27, of St. Louis County, pleaded guilty in May to one count of distribution of fentanyl and one count of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl. He admitted selling the pills containing fentanyl that killed the victim on Aug. 28, 2022.

After the man was discovered dead, investigators from the St. Charles County Police Department and the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force found four tablets in his bedroom. Two were imitation oxycodone tablets that contained fentanyl. Investigators also found text messages between the victim and Edwards. They then used the victim’s phone, posing as the victim, to arrange the purchase of more drugs from Edwards. 

On Aug. 30, 2022, Edwards was arrested at the planned meeting spot with the tablets that he’d agreed to sell. He also had a Glock .40 caliber pistol and two more tablets in a bag inside the nearby building where he worked. Some of the tablets seized at Edwards’ arrest were imitation oxycodone tablets that contained fentanyl.

Edwards then admitted in an interview with St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force and Drug Enforcement Administration investigators that he’d sold purported prescription tablets to the victim, who was also his friend and coworker, at least ten times, including the day before his death.

In a letter to Judge Ross, the victim’s mother wrote that her son had just started a new job and was on the road to recovery. His “life was changing, he just needed more time,” she wrote. She said her son knew the risks of fentanyl, and knew it could kill him, but was reassured by Edwards in a text message that the pills were real. The victim left behind a son, who was almost two years old at the time of the victim’s death.

"The callous disregard drug traffickers have for human life is obvious when you hear about cases like this one," said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colin Dickey, lead of Drug Enforcement Administration investigations in Eastern Missouri. "For a few dollars, this man's action took a life, someone who mattered to his family and friends. DEA’s efforts on overdose death investigations with partner agencies like the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force reminds drug dealers that their conduct has penalties, which include plenty of time in prison to think about the impact of their actions.”

The case was investigated by St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha Reitz prosecuted the case. 

Updated September 21, 2023

Drug Trafficking