ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis man attempted to purchase 40 pounds of methamphetamine in Franklin County before an undercover agent thwarted the transaction and arrested him.

Richard Treis, 48, pleaded guilty to a felony charge Thursday, more than two years after the undercover bust. Prosecutors charged Treis with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

According to a plea agreement, Homeland Security Investigations in El Paso learned in June 2020 that an inmate in Oklahoma wanted to purchase meth. After a series of calls to a cell phone smuggled by the inmate, an undercover HSI special agent seized the phone and coordinated the delivery of around 40 pounds of meth.

On July 29, 2020, Treis and another man arrived at a gas station in Pacific, Missouri with a bag full of cash. Investigators say Tries called the undercover agent and confirmed that spot for the delivery, also sending pictures of cash he intended to exchange.

Agents brought around 15 pounds of methamphetamine, which Treis and the other man tried to swap for the cash. Agents ended up arresting both men.

Treis is expected to be sentenced February 16. As part of his plea agreement, he will forfeit $128,000 in custody of the Homeland Security Investigations.