500 pounds of meth; 17 arrested in massive drug trafficking ring


ST. LOUIS– The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) busted a large-scale, multi-state drug trafficking ring.

According to a recent 16-count indictment, this was a long-running drug distribution conspiracy operating in Texas, Arizona, California and Missouri.

Court documents state law enforcement seized:

  • Approximately 50 pounds of fentanyl
  • 500 pounds of methamphetamine
  • 50 firearms
  • More than $400,000 in drug proceeds

Court documents also state the conspiracy included mailing and shipping packages containing large amounts of illegal drugs to be distributed around St. Louis and other cities in the United States.

According to the DEA, one kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people. This 50 pounds fentanyl equaled to roughly 22 kilograms.

That is enough to kill approximately 11 million people.

When it comes to 500 pounds of meth, WSPA reported the street value of that amount is approximately $8 million.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and its law enforcement partners have investigated this drug trafficking network for the past three years. Officials say the network is operated largely by violent gangs around the country.

 “The drug cell we dismantled with operations in various states in the United States and Mexico has no regard for the people around them and will take whatever actions necessary to protect their profit and themselves,” said Colin Dickey, DEA St. Louis Division Assistant Special Agent in Charge.

Here is a list of the defendants indicted in the case.

  • Stephen Griffin: M, St. Louis, 27
  • Kenny Thomas: M, St. Louis, arrested in Mexico, 38
  • Raymundo Deleon: M, in custody in Los Angeles, 40
  • Kyanna Canales: F, arrested in Phoenix, 19
  • Ariel Navarez-Gonzalez: M, arrested in Phoenix, 20
  • Troy Mills: M, St. Louis, 30
  • Arieawn Dillon: M, St. Louis, 26
  • Daveon Barnes: M, St. Louis, 27
  • Dalvin Wiley: M, St. Louis, 29
  • Crystal Miller: F, St. Louis, 27
  • Latoya Wilson: F, St. Louis, 40
  • Steven Hilliard: M, St. Louis, 30
  • Andrew Prout: M, in custody in Missouri, 28
  • Ariel Randall: F, St. Louis, 26
  • Jessica Alvarez: F, arrested in Los Angeles, 40
  • Larry Martinez-Soto: M, arrested in Phoenix, 24
  • Sanela Demirovic: F, St. Louis, 31

Several agencies were involved in the case, including the United States Postal Inspection Service.

(Becky Willeke and Fox2 contributed to this report.)

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