Man called ‘cocaine kingpin’ pleads guilty in federal court

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ST. LOUIS – A Missouri man described by federal prosecutors as a “cocaine kingpin” has pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

Adrian Lemons of St. Louis and an associate, Virgil Sims of Kennett, Missouri, both pleaded guilty Friday to one count of cocaine conspiracy. The U.S. Attorney’s office in St. Louis is recommending a 20-year sentence for Lemons and a five-year sentence for Sims.

Lemons worked with a Mexican cartel from 2012 to 2016 to bring in and distribute large amounts of cocaine in St. Louis and elsewhere. Sims was a dealer who sold cocaine in St. Louis and southeast Missouri.

Federal prosecutors say that during the investigation they seized weapons, cocaine and more than $1.3 million.

The men are among 34 defendants named in indictments related to drug trafficking and violence, including several killings.

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