ST. LOUIS – A man whom federal prosecutors described as “an enforcer for a large drug conspiracy” was convicted Tuesday on drug conspiracy charges that included a 2019 murder.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Freeman Whitfield IV, 29, was part of a criminal trafficking enterprise that moved drugs from Houston and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to the St. Louis area.
The Drug Enforcement Agency launched an investigation into the enterprise in 2018, resulting in the seizure of $1.5 million in drug payouts as well as 25 kilograms of cocaine, 3 kilograms of fentanyl, 10 kilograms of heroin, luxury vehicles, watches, and guns.
Antonio Boyd, who ran drugs for Whitefield’s supplier, Guy Goolsby, was arrested on March 21, 2018. Whitfield heard Boyd might be cooperating with federal investigators and, according to prosecutors, “decided to kill him for it.”
Boyd was gunned down on Dec. 9, 2019, outside a St. Louis home. Another man was wounded in the shooting.
Whitfield was arrested in May 2021 after authorities received a warrant to search his home in Maryland Heights. He’d previously sold fentanyl to an undercover officer in March and July 2020.
When authorities raided Whitfield’s residence, they recovered an AK-style pistol, ammunition, and other firearms. A second home in St. Louis contained an AR-style pistol, a Glock pistol, thousands of rounds of ammo, body armor, a police scanner, cash, multiple cell phones, digital scales, and 1.2 kilograms of fentanyl.
The trial began last week. The jury convicted Whitfield of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, heroin and cocaine; knowingly possessing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, causing the death of Antonio Boyd through premeditated murder; knowingly possessing and discharging a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes; possession with intent to distribute fentanyl; possession of one or more firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes; being a felon in possession of a firearm; and being a felon in possession of ammunition.
Whitfield will be sentenced in January 2024. Goolsby was sentenced in 2020 to 151 months in federal prison.