St. Louis County man sentenced to 11 years in prison for fentanyl, methamphetamine conspiracy

Prison Sentence

A St. Louis County, Missouri man who admitted selling fentanyl and methamphetamine, fleeing from police, and possessing machine guns was sentenced Wednesday to 11 years in prison. 

U.S. District Judge Sarah E. Pitlyk also ordered Marvel Sherell, 23, to be placed on supervised release for four years after his eventual release from prison. 

Sherell was the final defendant to be sentenced of five charged in the drug conspiracy. He pleaded guilty in July to three felony counts: conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl, possessing one or more firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession of a machine gun.

The investigation began after the Drug Enforcement Administration learned that Sherrell was selling meth and fentanyl and used a confidential source to make drug buys from him. 

“Like many business owners, drug trafficking organizations want to protect their business and assets,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colin Dickey, lead of DEA investigations in eastern Missouri. “However, there is no similarity to legitimate businesses when dealing in illicit drugs and protecting the business includes illegal weapons. DEA is pleased this criminal enterprise is permanently closed for business.”

In his plea agreement, Sherrell admitted engaging in a drug conspiracy with others including Nicholas L. Nixon, 24; Jacquez T. Love, 25; Turhan Robinson Jr., 23; and Arion D. Strickland, 29. 

Sherrell admitted selling methamphetamine and fentanyl to the DEA. He also admitted to fleeing from St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers on May 5, 2022. After officers spotted Sherrell driving recklessly, they tried to stop his car. Sherrell sped off, even after police spike strips deflated the tires on the driver’s side of the vehicle. He ran a red light, hit another vehicle, and continued to flee from police, who again used spike strips. Sherrell kept going, violating more traffic signals. During the chase, Strickland tossed a KelTec rifle out of the vehicle and Nixon discarded a Micro Draco AK-47-style pistol and 1,181 pills containing fentanyl. A fully automatic AR-15-style weapon was found after the case where Robinson had been sitting.

When deputy U.S. Marshals arrested Love at the apartment Sherrell, Nixon, and Love shared in St. Louis County on May 12, 2022, they found methamphetamine and a fully automatic .40-caliber Glock handgun in Sherrell’s bedroom, along with two “switches” that convert a Glock into a machine gun. They found a pistol in both Nixon’s and Love’s bedroom and the kitchen. They also found fentanyl and meth in the kitchen.

Nicholas L. Nixon, now 24, pleaded guilty in April to one felony count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl. Judge Pitlyk sentenced him in August to five years in prison. 

Strickland and Love pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Strickland was sentenced to six years in prison and Love to 37 months. 

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the St. Louis County Police Department, and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.