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Press Release

Columbia Man, Woman Plead Guilty to Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy

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

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Columbia, Mo., man and woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to their roles in a conspiracy to distribute heroin.


Alec Matthew Ell, 20, Angelica Melanie Polston, 20, both of Columbia, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Matt J. Withworth to the charge contained in an
April 2, 2015, federal indictment.


By pleading guilty today, Ell admitted that he participated in a conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin in Boone County, Mo., from July to October 2014.


Ell admitted that he sold a half-gram of heroin, packaged in four separate baggies, for $100 to an undercover police officer and a confidential informant on three separate occasions in July 2014. He also admitted that sold a quarter-gram of heroin, packaged in two separate baggies, for $50 to an undercover Jefferson City police detective in July 2014. Those transactions occurred in various parking lots in Columbia.


On another occasion in July 2014, Polston accompanied Ell, her boyfriend, and participated in the sale of a half-gram of heroin, packaged in four separate baggies, to the undercover Jefferson City police officer for $100. The transaction occurred near Hickman High School in Columbia.


On Oct. 18, 2014, a Columbia police detective and an officer were on patrol on 8th Street and spotted Ell and Polston. When the detective approached Ell and informed him that he had an active warrant for his arrest, Ell fled on foot into a nearby neighborhood. The officer caught up to him as he tried to jump a fence, and was able to force him off the fence and onto the ground, where he was arrested. During a search, the officer found a baggie of heroin in Ell’s front pants pocket. The heroin was packaged in to 16 separate baggies or “tenths.”


Under federal statutes, Ell and Polston are each subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 40 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $5 million. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.


This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Stuart J. Zander. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Columbia, Mo., Police Department, the Jefferson City, Mo., Police Department and MUSTANG (the Mid-Missouri Unified Strike Team and Narcotics Group).

Updated August 31, 2015

Drug Trafficking