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Press Release

Springfield Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Heroin Conspiracy, Firearm

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for leading a conspiracy that distributed at least a kilogram of heroin in the Springfield area.

Roosevelt Simpson, 61, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to 20 years in federal prison without parole. Co-defendant Romele E. Freeman, 53, of Springfield, was sentenced today to five years in federal prison without parole.

On June 19, 2018, Simpson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute at least a kilogram of heroin and to one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

Simpson admitted that he was a leader in the drug-trafficking conspiracy from Sept. 1, 2012, to April 3, 2017. Simpson purchased heroin from Chicago, Ill., and St. Louis, Mo., which was transported to Springfield by vehicle. Simpson supplied heroin to other mid-level dealers, including co-defendants Romele E. Freeman, 53, and Kenneth M. Smith, 60, both of Springfield. Freeman and Smith, in turn, supplied other heroin dealers. Co-defendant Najee Boston, 38, of Springfield, personally transported heroin from St. Louis and also supplied Smith. Freeman, Smith and Boston also have pleaded guilty.

Simpson admitted that, beginning in April 2014, he purchased two to three ounces of heroin every two to three weeks. Simpson was “fronted” the heroin for $3,000 per ounce and profited approximately $4,000 per ounce. Simpson also admitted that he utilized a Rossi .38-caliber revolver for protection and aggression in furtherance of the drug-trafficking conspiracy.

During the course of the investigation, agents were able to infiltrate the drug-trafficking organization and buy heroin directly from Simpson and others. Undercover officers purchased heroin from Simpson on several occasions.

On April 12, 2016, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Simpson’s residence. They seized a total of 4.1 grams of heroin, $6,062 (some of which was hidden in a pair of shoes in a bedroom closet and above the cabinets in the kitchen), and the loaded Rossi revolver in a metal pot under the kitchen counter. 

On April 3, 2017, law enforcement officers observed Simpson selling heroin to another person at a nearby convenience store. Officers searched his residence again and seized 4.5 grams of heroin.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nhan D. Nguyen. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.

Updated November 16, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses