Three Sentenced in Conspiracy that Brought Methamphetamine to St. Louis
ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig on Friday sentenced two of the final three defendants in a conspiracy that brought methamphetamine from California to St. Louis.
Judge Fleissig on Wednesday sentenced Darius McCullum, 33, to 10 years in prison. McCullum was the Los-Angeles based supplier of some of the methamphetamine.
McCullum pleaded guilty in April to a felony charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. He admitted obtaining pounds of methamphetamine in California and then shipping it to Eric Williams in Detroit, Michigan, who mailed the resulting proceeds back to McCullum.
Williams then sold the drug to others around the country. Lethem Thompson-Bey obtained methamphetamine from Williams via Ashley D. Gibson in Lexington, Kentucky and then sold it to Steven L. Bell and others in St. Louis.
The group transported and distributed illegal narcotics in numerous states including California, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky and Texas and used “stash” houses in Detroit, Lexington, St. Louis, and elsewhere to store drugs.
Investigators seized about 4.8 kilograms of methamphetamine on April 21, 2021, another 8 kilograms on methamphetamine on May 4, 2021 and 3.5 kilograms on May 24, 2021. On August 23, 2021, investigators executed a court-approved search warrant at McCullum’s home in Los Angeles and found several pounds of marijuana and three guns, including one that had been stolen in Little Rock, Arkansas two years earlier, his plea agreement says.
"Drug trafficking organizations, like this one involving McCullum, will use every method they can to get their poison distributed," said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colin Dickey, lead of Drug Enforcement Administration investigations in Eastern Missouri. "DEA and our partners have shut down this operation of shipping methamphetamine from Los Angeles to the Midwest and to the network of street dealers who then distributed it into our neighborhoods. Fortunately, this is one drug dealership that we can call closed for business.”
On Friday, Judge Fleissig sentenced Jasmine C. Taylor, 35, to two years in prison and Haley B. Mason, 21 to the time she’d already served behind bars. Taylor transported money and drugs for Williams and Gibson. Mason was a courier who was caught with $65,250 cash in a suitcase at the on April 22, 2021.
Bell, 31, of St. Louis County, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June. Williams, 32 of Jackson, Tenn., was sentenced to 186 months in prison in May. Gibson, 26, of Lexington, was sentenced to 78 months in prison in April. Thompson-Bey, 28, of St. Louis, received a 126-month sentence last August. All 20 defendants in the case pleaded guilty.
Defendants agreed to forfeit $181,000 cash seized during the investigation, as well as jewelry, ammunition, three pistols, two AR-15-style rifles and an AR-15-style pistol.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.