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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Missouri
Sayler A. Fleming, United States Attorney
Contact: Robert Patrick,
For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 18, 2024

Mother, Son, Sentenced for Selling Fentanyl in St. Louis Area

ST. LOUIS — A mother and her son have been sentenced to prison for their involvement in a fentanyl trafficking conspiracy in the St. Louis area.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Ronnie L. White sentenced Frederick Mopkins, 32, to 10 years in prison. Mopkins pleaded guilty in October to four felonies: a fentanyl conspiracy charge, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, being a felon in possession of a firearm and attempting to destroy evidence.

Last week, Judge White sentenced Vera Mopkins, 46, to 33 months in prison. She pleaded guilty to a fentanyl conspiracy charge.

Both admitted involvement in fentanyl trafficking beginning in 2020. The FBI and the St. Louis County Police Department began investigating in February of that year and made a series of fentanyl purchases from Frederick Mopkins and others at an extended stay hotel in Hazelwood. A search of four hotel rooms on Oct. 2, 2020, found meth, pill presses, digital scales and empty pill capsules. Some of the rooms were registered in Vera Mopkins’ name. A search of a St. Louis home associated with Frederick Mopkins that same day caught him with two pistols, fentanyl, $3,000 cash, multiple cell phones that had been used to arrange drug sales and a 60-round drum magazine for a firearm.

At least one of the drug sales was coordinated by Vera Mopkins. Frederick Mopkins coordinated others. Vera Mopkins also helped prepare and package fentanyl at least once. The drug sales continued at locations in St. Louis after the hotel search.

The St. Louis County Police Department, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Szczucinski prosecuted the case.


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