ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – United States District Judge Ronnie L. White sentenced Robert Hill to 25 years in prison. A jury had convicted Hill of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine and one count of felon in possession of a firearm on September 16, 2020.
The evidence presented at trial proved that on May 23, 2013, officers responded to a call in the 11000 block of Criterion Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri. Investigators observed signs of a struggle and blood smears and during a protective sweep of the residence located and ultimately seized more than 63 functional firearms, various ammunition, and body armor. Security footage and other evidence linked the residence to Robert Hill, a previously convicted felon. Hill’s fingerprints were found on some of the firearms.
Additional evidence demonstrated Hill’s participation in a long-term, large-scale drug conspiracy involving multiple-kilogram quantities of cocaine and heroin from Mexican sources of supply to the St. Louis area. During the investigation, authorities seized hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds from Hill and his various associates. Specifically, on February 19, 2016, a Clayton Police Officer located Hill in a van with its parking lights on and making furtive movements. A records check revealed Hill had an active warrant. Hill fled from the officer who chased him by foot throughout a Clayton residential neighborhood. Hill was ultimately apprehended and was wearing a backpack in which $77,648.30 in currency was located, as well as a drug ledger. Hill was also in possession of four cellular telephones. The cash was seized and forfeited as drug proceeds.
DEA later obtained court-authorized wiretap interceptions over various cellular telephones used by Hill and his associates, during which coded conversations revealed that Hill was negotiating for and obtaining multiple kilograms of heroin on a weekly basis for distribution and sale in the St. Louis area. The Court found Hill was responsible for more than 90 kilograms of heroin and possessed firearms in connection with the offense.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming commended the work of the various law enforcement agencies in bringing this long-term offender to justice. “Robert Hill evaded law enforcement for several years and his drug trafficking activity did untold harm to the citizens of our district. The sentence in this case reflects that.”
“There is no better way to begin a new year than to send the leader of a violent drug trafficking organization to prison,” said Marissa Lee, Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge. “This ensures illegal guns and drugs aren’t on our neighborhood streets. DEA often finds that violence and drugs go hand in hand and the defendant in this case is a perfect example.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Marshals Service, St. Louis County Police Department, and Clayton Police Department investigated the case.