For Immediate Release
St. Louis Man Indicted for Meth Trafficking, Illegal Firearm
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A St. Louis, Missouri, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for drug trafficking and illegally possessing and discharging a firearm in Newton County, Missouri.
E.F. Fitchpatrick, Jr., 46, was charged in a four-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Missouri, on Aug. 20, 2019. That indictment has been unsealed and made public.
The federal indictment alleges that Fitchpatrick participated in a conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine from Feb. 18 to March 1, 2017. Fitchpatrick is also charged with possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.
Fitchpatrick is charged with discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug-trafficking crime. According to the indictment, Fitchpatrick discharged a Hi-Point .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun on March 1, 2017. Fitchpatrick is also charged with being a felon and an unlawful user of, or addicted to, a controlled substance while in possession of that firearm.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Fitchpatrick has two prior felony convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm; two prior felony convictions for the distribution, delivery, or manufacture of a controlled substance; three prior felony convictions for forgery; two prior felony convictions for possession of an illegal weapon; one prior felony conviction for using a telephone to facilitate the distribution of heroin; one prior felony conviction for burglary; and one prior felony conviction for tampering with a motor vehicle.
The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica R. Keller. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team, and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department.
Project Safe Neighborhoods
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Missouri. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program that identifies the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, Project Safe Neighborhoods focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.