Five Jefferson County residents and a Eureka woman were among 16 people arrested Tuesday (Jan. 12) for allegedly playing a role in a drug ring that stretched from Los Angeles to St. Louis, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
U.S. marshals arrested the 16 people, including Sarah Nicole Reynolds, 36, of De Soto; Joseph Michael Suraud, 41, of Arnold; Alexandra Marni Chambers, 27, of Arnold; Matthew Joseph Aubin, 43, of Imperial; Kevin John Karll, 66, of High Ridge; and Deidre Denise Medcalf, 51, of Eureka, who had been charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Twelve of the 16 people arrested after being indicted by a grand jury on Jan. 6 are from the St. Louis area, and four are from California.
Other St. Louis-area residents indicted in connection with the ring included Brendon Darnell Thomas, 44, of St. Louis; Joseph Robert Holliman, 46, of St. Louis; Jacqueline Renee Harris, 39, of St. Charles; Thomas William Fogle, 41, of Bonne Terre; Richard Leroy Clark, 61, of Farmington; and David Michael Nuelle, 34, of St. Louis, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Those from California included Dedrick Deshon Jordan, 32; Clifford Dwight Davis Jr., 40; and Maria D. Flores-Cervantes, 32, all of Los Angeles, along with Terry James Williams, 34, of Carson, Calif., according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Members of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Jefferson County Municipal Enforcement Group investigated the suspects for more than a year.
Those involved allegedly operated a drug trafficking organization that distributed meth in the St. Louis region with a network connected to Los Angeles, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
“The investigation lasted approximately 15 months and involved nearly a dozen law enforcement agencies,” U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming said. “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.”
On June 18, 2020, investigators joined members of the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to search locations associated with Jordan, Holliman and Thomas. Investigators allegedly seized more than $140,000 in cash, meth, high-grade marijuana, two assault rifles and four handguns in the raids, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Investigators also allegedly found 28 pounds of meth and a gun in a secret compartment in a vehicle that was stopped on its way to St. Louis the day of the raids, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Ebony Silinzy, 43, of St. Louis has been indicted separately for obtaining firearms for Holliman, who is a convicted felon and is not allowed to purchase or have a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Along with the distribution and money laundering charges, Thomas and Holliman also have been charged with possessing one or more firearms to further a drug trafficking crime and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, according to the indictment.
The meth offense carries a penalty of life in prison, a fine up to $10 million or both. The money laundering offense is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $500,000, or both.
Possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking carries a penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine up to $250,000, consecutive to any other sentence imposed. The defendants charged with being felons in possession of a firearm can be punished by up to 10 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000 or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul D’Agrosa is handling the case.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Arnold Police, St. Charles Police, St. Charles County Police, Phelps County Sheriff’s Department and Normandy Police also assisted in the investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
“It takes a collective effort with our DEA counterparts to identify and investigate members of these illegal drug trafficking organizations,” said 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.”