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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Missouri
Teresa A. Moore, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Monday, April 22, 2024

Republic Man Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Trafficking, Illegal Firearms

Faces at Least 15 Years in Prison

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Republic, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to illegally possessing fentanyl to distribute and several firearms following two instances in which he fled from law enforcement officers.

Tonikko Fewell, 34, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to two counts of possessing fentanyl with the intent to distribute, one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On Aug. 16, 2021, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Fewell’s residence. Fewell drove by his residence while officers were executing the search warrant. Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but Fewell dropped off a female passenger and quickly sped away at speeds over 100 miles per hour. Officers discontinued the pursuit over public safety concerns.

Officers searched Fewell’s residence and found approximately 588 grams of fentanyl, $3,420 in cash, and an Anderson .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle, which had been reported stolen, with a fully loaded 40-round magazine. Officers also found a Jimenez Arms 9mm semi-automatic pistol that had been reported stolen and a Walther 9mm semi-automatic pistol in a vehicle parked at the residence.

On Dec. 8, 2021, a Springfield, Mo., police detective attempted to conduct a traffic stop of an orange Cadillac Fewell was driving. The detective did not pursue the vehicle, but shortly afterward saw the vehicle had been involved in a three-car accident at the intersection of Commercial Street and National Avenue. The detective searched the vehicle and found 54 grams of fentanyl and $4,232 in cash. Fewell, a passenger, and their 2-year-old daughter were transported to the hospital for treatment.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Fewell has a prior felony conviction for unlawful use of a weapon.

Under federal statutes, Fewell is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Republic, Mo., Police Department, and the Christian County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.

Project Safe Neighborhoods

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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