Grand jury indicts St. Louis man in international drug ring

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ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis man was indicted in federal court Wednesday for his alleged involvement in an international drug trafficking and money laundering enterprise.

According to court documents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Derek Rockette distributed or sold fentanyl and cocaine from suppliers in Mexico for the last several years. Prosecutors said this was happening since at least 2016.

Rockette owed a substantial debt to his suppliers and made numerous payments to them through deposits to St. Louis-area ATMs and other states, which was then transferred to banks in Mexico. All told, prosecutors said Rockette deposited more than $8.5 million in 14 states between June 4, 2018 and Sept. 12, 2019.

Prosecutors identified four others as co-defendants in the money laundering scheme: Norma Corina Armenta-Lizarraga, Jian Zhong Fang, Yuede Zheng, and Wai Ming Mak.

The indictment further alleges Rockette distributed 400 grams or more of fentanyl and also possessed cocaine with the intention of selling it.

Rockette was also charged for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

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