Missouri man found guilty of St. Louis murder and drug conspiracy charges

Guilty Verdict News Graphic

A jury in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on Tuesday found a man guilty of drug trafficking charges that included a 2019 murder.

Freeman Whitfield IV, 29, was found guilty 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.

Evidence and testimony at trial showed that Whitfield was “an enforcer for a large drug conspiracy,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John Mantovani told jurors in closing arguments. Whitfield, a convicted felon, was caught with body armor and firearms, and used multiple phones to conduct drug sales, Mantovani said. The organization 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 payments, as well as 25 kilograms of cocaine, 3 kilograms of fentanyl, 10 kilograms of heroin, luxury vehicles, watches, and guns. 

Boyd, who distributed drugs for Whitfield’s supplier and co-conspirator, Guy R. Goolsby, was arrested on March 21, 2018. When Whitfield heard rumors that Boyd might be cooperating with investigators, “he decided to kill him for it,” Mantovani said. Boyd was fatally shot on Dec. 9, 2019, outside a home in the 2500 block of West Palm Street in St. Louis. Another man was also shot and wounded.

In a related DEA investigation, Whitfield sold fentanyl to an undercover officer in March and July of 2020. Investigators also watched as Whitfield sold drugs to others. During a court-approved search of one of Whitfield’s homes, in Maryland Heights, on May 4, 2021, they found Whitfield with an AK-style pistol, ammunition, and other firearms. A second home he maintained in St. Louis contained an AR-15-style pistol, a Glock pistol, thousands of rounds of ammunition, body armor, a police scanner, cash, six cell phones, digital scales, and 1.2 kilograms of fentanyl.

The trial started last week. Whitfield is scheduled to be sentenced in January. Goolsby was sentenced in 2020 to 151 months in prison. 

This case was investigated by the 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 United States Attorneys John Mantovani and Geoff Ogden are handling the case for the Eastern District of Missouri.