St. Louis County man sentenced to 12 years in prison in connection with fentanyl death

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U.S. District Judge John A. Ross on Friday found a fentanyl dealer responsible for the overdose death of a 17-year-old in 2021 and sentenced him to 12 years in prison. 

Keith Edward “Kesso” Matthews, 24, of St. Louis County, Missouri, pleaded guilty in September to four felonies: conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and three counts of distribution of a controlled substance. Matthews admitted selling pills that resembled the painkiller Percocet to his co-defendants, Katlyn Mae Brewer and/or Cameron Luke Houston, up to three times a week. On those occasions, Brewer and/or Houston would buy 20 to 40 pills at $10 to $20 per pill.

The investigation began with the fentanyl overdose death of a teen, identified in court documents as “J.G.,” on Feb. 3, 2021. Investigators learned that J.G. had been purchasing “M-30” Percocet pills from Brewer and Houston. On February 3, J.G. was attending an outpatient treatment facility and contacted Houston and Brewer via Snapchat to buy “Percocet pills.” Matthews disputed that he provided the fatal drugs that Brewer delivered to J.G., but Judge Ross on Friday found that he did, based on a preponderance of the evidence.

After J.G.’s death, and during the investigation, confidential informants purchased pills containing fentanyl from Matthews three times between March 31, 2022, and April 12, 2022. Each time they paid $2,000 for just under 200 tablets. Matthews admitted selling between 400 grams and 1.3 kilograms of fentanyl to Houston, Brewer, and others over at least a year.

“Once again, someone lost their life because this man sold an illegal product that he knew could kill,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Colin Dickey, lead of Drug Enforcement Administration investigations in eastern Missouri. “Fentanyl doesn’t just take the lives of those who use illegal drugs. Their families and friends are left seeking justice, and today justice was served.”

Both Brewer, now 26, and Houston, 22, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and are scheduled to be sentenced on February 21.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the St. Louis County Police Department investigated the case. 

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