Man sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison for St. Louis murder, drug cconspiracy

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A felon convicted of drug trafficking charges that included a 2019 St. Louis murder was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Matthew T. Schelp to life plus 10 years in prison.

Freeman Whitfield IV, 29, was an enforcer for a large drug conspiracy, evidence and testimony at Whitfield’s trial in October showed. The conspirators brought drugs from Houston and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to the St. Louis area. A Drug Enforcement Administration investigation that started in 2018 eventually resulted in the seizure of more than $1.5 million in drug proceeds, as well as 25 kilograms of cocaine, 3 kilograms of fentanyl, 10 kilograms of heroin, luxury vehicles, watches and guns. 

Antonio Boyd, who distributed drugs for Whitfield’s supplier and co-conspirator, Guy R. Goolsby, was arrested on March 21, 2018. Whitfield decided to kill Boyd after hearing rumors that he might be cooperating with investigators, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Mantovani told jurors during Whitfield’s trial. Boyd was fatally shot Dec. 9, 2019, outside a home in the 2500 block of West Palm Street in St. Louis. Another man was shot and wounded.

In a related DEA investigation, Whitfield sold fentanyl to an undercover officer in March and July of 2020, as well as others. During a court-approved search of Whitfield’s homes, investigators recovered an AK-style pistol, an AR-15-style pistol, thousands of rounds of ammunition, other firearms, body armor, a police scanner, cash, six cell phones, digital scales and 1.2 kilograms of fentanyl.

“The Drug Enforcement Administration knows violence is a principal element of drug trafficking, as this case clearly demonstrates,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colin Dickey, supervisor of DEA operations in Eastern Missouri. “This enforcer protected the command and control of a drug trafficking organization dealing in the triple threat of fentanyl, cocaine and heroin. It’s particularly satisfying for us in law enforcement that he will no longer endanger the lives of our citizens with illegal drugs or the gun violence that takes so many St. Louis lives.”

Whitfield was found guilty by a jury in U.S. District Court in St. Louis in October of seven felonies: conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, heroin and cocaine; knowingly possessing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, causing the death of Antonio Boyd through premeditated murder; knowingly possessing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes; possession with intent to distribute fentanyl; possession of one or more firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes; being a felon in possession of a firearm and being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Goolsby was sentenced in 2020 to 151 months in prison. 

This case was investigated by Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the St. Charles County Police Department and the Bridgeton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Mantovani and Geoff Ogden prosecuted the case. 

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