The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri has announced that a 30-year-old Franklin County man has been sentenced to serve 10 years in a federal prison for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. The sentence was handed down on Aug. 28 after the man pleaded guilty in a St. Louis federal courtroom. The investigation was conducted by the Multi-County Narcotics and Violent Crimes Enforcement Unit and the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the Webster Groves and Kirkwood Police Departments.

Investigators conduct undercover drug buys

According to court papers, the man and his co-defendant, who was previously sentenced to 64 months in prison, distributed methamphetamine in the greater St. Louis area and Jefferson and Franklin Counties. Investigators built their case against the man by conducting an undisclosed number of undercover drug buys. When investigators closed in to make an arrest, the man crashed his vehicle while trying to escape and then fled the scene of the accident on foot. Police say that they discovered two handguns near the crashed vehicle and a further five firearms and several knives inside it.

U.S. Marshals called in to locate suspect

The man was subsequently indicted on gun and drug charges by a federal grand jury. According to U.S. attorneys, deputies from the U.S. Marshals Service recovered another firearm and an undisclosed amount of illegal drugs when the man was apprehended.

Federal drug cases rarely go to trial

The overwhelming majority of federal prosecutions involving drug charges are resolved with plea agreements. While the penalties for violating the nation’s narcotics laws can be severe, criminal defense lawyers with experience in this area could encourage U.S. attorneys to take a more lenient position by offering them a guilty plea and citing mitigating factors such as sincere remorse.