St. Louis, MO – Nicholas Simmons, 37, of St. Louis, MO, pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Simmons appeared today before U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber who accepted his plea and set sentencing for August 31, 2020.
According to the plea agreement, FBI Special Agents received information during December, 2018 that Simmons was selling capsules of fentanyl in the St. Louis area. Beginning on January 17, 2019 and continuing to April 25, 2019, the FBI made nine undercover purchases of fentanyl from Simmons, purchasing 16 – 20 capsules of fentanyl each time. On May 13, 2019, FBI Special Agents conducted surveillance of Simmons, and observed him make what appeared to be a sale of illegal drugs to another individual. As the Agents approached Simmons’s vehicle, Simmons attempted to flee the area. Simmons crashed his vehicle, at which time the Agents were able to apprehend him. The Agents located a loaded .45 caliber pistol in Simmons’ waistband, as well as 19 capsules of fentanyl in his pants pocket, and an additional 152 capsules of fentanyl in a black plastic bag in his possession. FBI Special Agents obtained a search warrant for 2 residences associated with Simmons. At one residence the Agents recovered drug paraphernalia and several firearms. At the second residence, the Agents recovered 3 additional firearms, approximately 2 kilograms of marijuana, 46 grams of cocaine, and 12 grams of crack cocaine. Drug paraphernalia and hundreds of rounds of miscellaneous ammunition were also recovered from the residence.
The charge of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl carries a maximum possible penalty of twenty years imprisonment, a fine of $1,000,000 or both imprisonment and a fine. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Sara Koppenaal is handling the case for the United States Attorney’s Office.