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Press Release

St. Louis Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Running St. Louis Drug Ring

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

ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge Matthew T. Schelp on Wednesday sentenced a man who ran a drug ring in St. Louis to 20 years in prison.

James L. Brownridge, 49, of St. Louis, pleaded guilty July 28 to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and marijuana.

Brownridge admitted that beginning in 2020, he’d arranged to have drugs mailed from Las Vegas to several locations in the St. Louis area. One package found by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department contained about six pounds of methamphetamine. Another, caught at a postal distribution center in Hazelwood and bound for a home in University City, had nearly three kilograms of cocaine and about two pounds of marijuana.

Investigators also caught Brownridge selling 884.9 grams of methamphetamine to a co-defendant on March 19, 2021.

When investigators searched homes linked to Brownridge and his co-conspirators in April of 2021, they found drugs, cash and firearms. At a home in Jennings, they found 1.3 kilos of methamphetamine and caught a woman who had removed 180.9 grams of methamphetamine, 308 grams of cocaine, 102 grams of cocaine base, a drug ledger and $11,560 in drug proceeds from the house.  

At Brownridge’s home in the 5300 block of Mimika Avenue, they found $29,683 in cash, 873 grams of methamphetamine, marijuana, 172 grams of cocaine, a Ruger 9mm firearm with an extended magazine and a Smith and Wesson 9mm firearm, according to his plea.

In total, Brownridge admitted being responsible for just under six kilos of methamphetamine, 3.3 kilos of cocaine and 102 grams of cocaine base.

The investigation began with a tip to the Drug Enforcement Administration about a low-level drug dealer. 

All 11 defendants in the case have pleaded guilty. Four others have already been sentenced, receiving up to 14 years in prison.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the St. Louis County Police Department investigated the case.

Updated October 19, 2022

Drug Trafficking