St. Louis County man sentenced to life in prison for dealing fatal dose of heroin and fentanyl

Life in Prison News Graphic

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey on Tuesday sentenced a man to life in prison for selling the heroin and fentanyl that killed a Florissant, Missouri man in 2018.

Wyland Kinney, 50, of St. Louis County, was convicted by a jury in May of distribution of a controlled substance that resulted in death, two counts of distributing fentanyl, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Evidence and testimony at trial showed that Kinney sold the victim, who had been battling heroin addiction and had just been in the hospital for treatment, heroin and fentanyl at 2:30 p.m. on August 16, 2018. The victim was living with his grandmother, who found him dead at about 8 p.m. An autopsy and toxicology results showed that the quantity of heroin and fentanyl individually was enough to kill him. 

During the subsequent investigation of the death, officers had a confidential informant purchase a mix of fentanyl and ketamine twice from Kinney, on October 11 and 12. A court-approved search of Kinney’s home found six handguns, five shotguns, two rifles, an AK-style pistol, ammunition, and $6,443 in cash. They also found text messages regarding drug sales on his phone.

“Everyone is well aware illegal drugs can harm the people who find themselves dependent on these substances,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colin Dickey, lead of Drug Enforcement Administration investigations in Eastern Missouri. “But families are also victims of the terrible criminal activity of drug dealing, as the grandmother of Kenney’s victim must know. The powerful narcotics available today destroy lives and families. DEA makes it a priority to ensure the destruction is shared by the dealers by putting them in prison.”

The case was investigated by the Florissant Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kyle Bateman and Tiffany Becker are prosecuting the case.