The U.S. Marshals arrested 16 individuals, including two from St. Francois County, on Tuesday as the result of a federal grand jury indictment returned Jan. 6, charging them with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
For more than a year, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Jefferson County Municipal Enforcement Group conducted an investigation targeting a drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing crystal methamphetamine in the St. Louis region, with a network connected to Los Angeles, California.
According to the indictment, on June 18, investigators joined with the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to execute search warrants at locations associated with Dedrick Jordan, Joseph Holliman and Brandon Thomas.
Investigators seized more than $140,000 in cash, crystal meth and high-grade marijuana, as well as two assault rifles and four handguns. Another gun was seized from a secret compartment in a vehicle, which was stopped on its way to St. Louis, containing 28 pounds of methamphetamine with a purity level of more than 90%.
Four of the individuals indicted are from Los Angeles, with the remainder being based in the St. Louis area.
The defendants are Brendon Darnell Thomas, 44, of St. Louis; Joseph Robert Holliman, 46, of St. Louis; Dedrick Deshon Jordan, 32, of Los Angeles; Terry James Williams, 34, of Carson, California; Clifford Dwight Davis, Jr., 40, of Los Angeles; Maria D. Flores-Cervantes, 32, of Los Angeles; Jacqueline Renee Harris, 39, of St. Charles; Thomas William Fogle, 41, of Bonne Terre; Richard Leroy Clark, 61, of Farmington; Sarah Nicole Reynolds, 36, of De Soto; Joseph Michael Suraud, 41, of Arnold; Alexandra Marni Chambers, 27, of Arnold; Deidre Denise Medcalf, 51, of Eureka;David Michael Nuelle, 34, of St. Louis; Matthew Joseph Aubin, 43, of Imperial; and Kevin John Karll, 66, of High Ridge.
Ebony Silinzy, 43, of St. Louis, was indicted separately for obtaining firearms on behalf of Holliman, who is a convicted felon and prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms. Thomas and Holliman, who are previously convicted felons, were also charged with unlawful possession of firearms.
The methamphetamine offense carries a maximum term of imprisonment of life, a fine of up to $10 million or both. The money laundering offense carries a maximum term of 20 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $500,000, or both.
Possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $250,000, consecutive to any other sentence imposed. The defendants charged with being felons in possession of a firearm face a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Charges set forth in the indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty.
Assistant United States Attorney Paul D’Agrosa is handling the case. The investigation involved the following law enforcement agencies: DEA, HSI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Marshals Service, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, St. Charles City and County Police, Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, Arnold Police Department and the Normandy Police Department, all in Missouri.
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“It takes a collective effort with our DEA counterparts to identify and investigate members of these illegal drug trafficking organizations,” noted Marissa Lee, DEA St. Louis Division Acting Assistant Agent in Charge. “As a result, this investigation yielded a successful outcome on the dismantlement of a major criminal enterprise.”
“Criminals who use the U.S. mail to transport illegal and dangerous narcotics into our nation’s communities will be brought to justice,” said William Hedrick, Inspector in Charge of the Chicago Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “With the assistance from our state and federal law enforcement partners, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service will continue its investigative efforts toward targeting and dismantling drug trafficking organizations.”
“HSI remains steadfast in our commitment to keeping criminal enterprises from distributing dangerous narcotics in our communities,” said Greg Paris, Resident Agent in Charge of HSI, St. Louis. “We are proud of the work accomplished with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners.”
“The investigation lasted approximately 15 months and involved nearly a dozen law enforcement agencies,” said U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming. “This multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional investigation returned results consistent with the hard work law enforcement in our community demonstrate every day to rid our community of armed drug traffickers.”
Sarah Haas is the assistant editor for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3617 or at email@example.com.