Federal Jury Convicts St. Louis County Man of Dealing Fatal Dose of Heroin and Fentanyl
ST. LOUIS – A jury in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on Thursday found a convicted felon guilty of selling the heroin and fentanyl that killed a Florissant, Missouri, man in 2018.
The jury found Wyland Kinney, 43, of St. Louis County, guilty of four felony counts: 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.
In closing arguments Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Bateman said the victim’s phone contained a series of texts and calls to Kinney on Aug. 15 and 16 of 2018 in which the victim arranged to buy opiates from Kinney. Kinney sold heroin and fentanyl to the victim at 2:30 p.m. on Aug. 16, 2018. The victim was living with his grandmother, who found him dead at about 8 p.m., 30 minutes after she’d last heard from him. An autopsy and toxicology results showed that the quantity of heroin and fentanyl individually was enough to kill him, Bateman said. Together they killed him quickly.
The victim had been battling heroin addiction and had just been in the hospital for treatment.
During the subsequent investigation, officers discovered the victim’s calls and texts to Kinney and learned Kinney’s name, then had a confidential informant purchase a mix of fentanyl and ketamine twice from Kinney, on Oct. 11 and 12.
A court-approved search of Kinney’s home found two handguns, a shotgun, ammunition and $6,443 in cash in the basement and four handguns, four shotguns, two rifles an AK-style pistol and more ammunition inside a gun safe on the main floor. They also found text messages regarding drug sales on his phone.
At Kinney’s sentencing, he faces life in prison for the distribution resulting in death charge, up to 20 years on the other drug charges and up to 10 years on the gun charge.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Florissant Police Department.