January 04, 2021
Contact: Andree Swanson
Phone Number: (571) 362-5149
St. Louis man sentenced to 25 years for heroin, cocaine distribution
Investigators also seized 63 weapons
ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge Ronnie L. White sentenced Robert Hill to 25 years in prison today for drug distribution and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
A jury had convicted Hill on Sept. 16, 2020 of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm .
The evidence presented at trial proved that on May 23, 2013, officers responded to a call in the 11000 block of Criterion Avenue in St. Louis. During a protective sweep of the residence, investigators observed signs of a struggle and blood smears, and ultimately seized more than 63 functional firearms, various ammunition and body armor. Security footage and other evidence linked the residence to Robert Hill, a previously convicted felon. Hill’s fingerprints were found on some of the firearms.
Additional evidence demonstrated Hill’s participation in a long-term, large-scale drug conspiracy in the St. Louis area involving multiple-kilogram quantities of cocaine and heroin from Mexican sources of supply. During the investigation, authorities seized hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds from Hill and his various associates. Specifically, on February 19, 2016, a Clayton police officer located Hill in a van with its parking lights on and making furtive movements. A records check revealed Hill had an active warrant. Hill fled from the officer, who chased him by foot through a Clayton residential neighborhood. Hill was ultimately apprehended and was wearing a backpack in which $77,648 in currency was located, as well as a drug ledger. Hill was also in possession of four cellular telephones. The cash was seized and forfeited as drug proceeds.
The Drug Enforcement Administration St. Louis Division later obtained court-authorized wiretap interceptions over various cellular telephones used by Hill and his associates, during which coded conversations revealed that Hill was negotiating for and obtaining multiple kilograms of heroin on a weekly basis for distribution and sale in the St. Louis area. The Court found Hill was responsible for more than 90 kilograms of heroin and possessed firearms in connection with the offense.
"There is no better way to begin a new year than to send the leader of a violent drug trafficking organization to prison," said Marissa Lee, DEA Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge. "This ensures illegal guns and drugs aren’t on our neighborhood streets. DEA often finds that violence and drugs go hand in hand, and the defendant in this case is a perfect example."
In addition to DEA, the Clayton Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service investigated the case.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.