Missouri man convicted of all charges related to one fatal and two non-fatal fentanyl overdoses

Fentanyl Graphic

A jury in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on Friday found a man who provided the fentanyl that caused one fatal and two nonfatal overdoses in St. Charles, Missouri in 2020 guilty of all charges.

Ledra A. Craig, 46, of Wright City, was found guilty of a fentanyl conspiracy charge, two counts of distribution of fentanyl causing serious bodily injury for the non-fatal overdoses, one count of distribution of fentanyl with death resulting, and one count of fentanyl distribution for the sale to an undercover police officer.

“Ledra Craig was selling fentanyl, one of the deadliest drugs known to man,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Wiseman told jurors in closing arguments Friday morning.

Just before 7 a.m. on August 2, 2020, Craig provided fentanyl to one man, referred to in court documents as “L.T.,” in the bathroom of the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles, according to court statements and evidence. Minutes later, the man collapsed in a lobby. When emergency responders arrived, L.T. was breathing just four to six times per minute and had to be revived with two doses of Narcan.

After leaving L.T., Craig showed a bag containing fentanyl to another man, R.P., in an elevator, then sold him the drug in the parking garage. Craig had approached R.P. and his friend in the casino and offered to sell them cocaine and R.P. believed that cocaine is what he was buying.

About 40 minutes later, R.P. and N.B. were spotted in a car in a neighborhood a few blocks from R.P.’s house. Authorities were called when the car rolled forward onto someone’s lawn. Both men had overdosed. N.B. was revived with Narcan. R.P. was blue, had no pulse, and was not breathing. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. 

Investigators quickly identified Craig as the man seen in the casino with the overdose victims, and an undercover officer bought fentanyl from Craig later that day in a transaction that was recorded on video. After his arrest, Craig admitted to selling fentanyl to R.P. and admitted to conspiring to sell fentanyl that summer. 

At sentencing on April 24, Craig faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life.

The case was investigated by the St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Derek Wiseman and Samantha Reitz are prosecuting the case.