Justin Newkirk, 41, of Raytown has been sentenced to eight years in prison on federal drug and gun charges, after he was arrested in Arnold, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported.

Newkirk was sentenced June 23 by U.S. District Judge Henry E Autrey after pleading guilty to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine while possessing a firearm, the attorney’s office said.

In 2018, Newkirk and Stephen Flynn came to the St. Louis area from Kansas City to sell meth, the report said.

Newkirk had hired Flynn to act as a driver and body guard while Newkirk distributed meth throughout the area, the plea agreement in the case said.

On Aug. 14, Arnold Police officers spotted the vehicle the pair was traveling in parked illegally in a handicap parking spot near a hotel. When the officers approached the vehicle, they smelled marijuana and believed Flynn, who was in the driver’s seat, was under the influence of drugs, the report said.

Officers found drugs and guns in the vehicle, and Flynn had a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun in his waistband, loaded with six rounds of ammunition. On the front passenger seat next to Flynn was a money bag that contained plastic baggies, a digital scale and 27.88 grams of meth. Additional rounds of ammunition that matched the caliber and brand of ammunition in Flynn’s firearm were found on the front seat and in the cup holder next to Flynn, according to the report.

Newkirk, who was sitting in the rear passenger seat, had a 9mm semiautomatic handgun loaded with 12 rounds next to his feet on the floor of the vehicle. He also had a black pouch containing three baggies, which had a total of 42.17 grams of meth, numerous empty plastic baggies and a digital scale, the report said.

When police searched a hotel room the two were sharing, they found a Bostich bag containing personal items belonging to Newkirk and a single round of ammunition matching the ammunition in Newkirk’s firearm. The bag had a locked pouch, which had 168.85 grams of meth inside of it, according to the report.

Newkirk previously was convicted of at least one felony punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, so he is prohibited from possessing a firearm, the report said.

Flynn has pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine while possessing a firearm and is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 5, according to the attorney’s office.

The case was investigated by the Arnold Police and the Department of Homeland Security.