Leader of drug trafficking ring sentenced to 27 years

ST. LOUIS, MO. – The suburban St. Louis leader of a drug trafficking conspiracy has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for drug crimes and for his role in two deaths.

Dionne Lamont Gatling of St. Charles pleaded guilty to federal charges in February and was sentenced Friday. He is 53.

The U.S. attorney’s office in St. Louis says Gatling led an organization that brought heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs to the region from 2009 to 2014. He also admitted arranging the murders of two men.

Theodis Howard was killed in 2010 in retaliation for cooperating in a drug trafficking investigation against Gatling’s brother. Prosecutors say Gatling directed another man to kill Terrance Morgan in 2013 in an effort to prevent Morgan from cooperating in the investigation against Gatling.

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