DEA Shuts Down a Huge National Drug Trafficking Organization in St. Louis

The DEA Special Agent in Charge for St. Louis announced the dismantling of a huge nationwide drug trafficking organization that was linked to several murders. James P. Shroba announced that the investigation yielded more than $2.1 million in cash, more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana, 82 pounds of meth, 12 kilograms of cocaine, and 5 kilograms of heroin.

More than 50 federal indictments were handed down to members of this organization. Seven of the defendants were charged on May 19, 2015 in the Eastern District of Missouri. The indictment was unsealed and made public on June 17, 2015.

The DEA’s investigation also revealed that the organization had been responsible for at least three previous murders in Kentucky, and a player associated with Riverside and St. Louis was murdered during the investigation.

Although centered in the St. Louis region, this organization operated over multiple East Coast and Midwest states. It brought drugs in from Southern California and/or McAllen through Houston and had amassed a network of rural properties to store and distribute the narcotics.

The St. Louis metropolitan area has long been both a consumer market and a transshipment and distribution hub for traffickers. The convergence of Interstates 70, 64, 55, and 44 provide easy access for the transportation of illicit drugs from the Southwestern Border to St. Louis and other states in the Midwest.

The St. Louis Field Division worked jointly with other DEA offices in California, Kentucky, Ohio, Washington state, Georgia, and Texas over the course of the 18-month investigation. The success of this investigation was truly a coup for the DEA and could not have happened without the hard work and teamwork of its agents around the country.