St. Louis man pleads guilty to conspiracy to possess and discharge a firearm

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ST. LOUIS – United States District Court Judge E. Richard Webber accepted a plea of guilty from Deronte McDaniels on today’s date.  McDaniels pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and discharge a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Judge Webber set sentencing for March 16, 2022.   

According to the plea agreement, in or around October 2019, relative to a shooting investigation by the University City Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was requested to assist in locating the suspect, a co-conspirator of McDaniels.  ATF surveillance revealed McDaniels’ co-conspirators in this case were actively distributing fentanyl within the Eastern District of Missouri.

On October 20, 2019, a co-conspirator was shot in the arm which McDaniels witnessed.   McDaniels was the intended target of this drug related shooting and returned fire utilizing his co-conspirator’s handgun. 

In retaliation for this incident, on October 21, 2019, McDaniels and two co-conspirators possessed one or more firearms in furtherance of the commission of a drug trafficking crime. During this violation, they caused the death of David Anderson by shooting him in a case of mistaken identity.  The co-conspirators in the investigation have cases pending before the court. 

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The maximum possible penalty provided by law for the crime to which McDaniel is pleading guilty is imprisonment of not more than 20 years, a fine of not more than $250,000, or both such imprisonment and fine. The court may also impose a period of supervised release of not more than 3 years.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the University City Police Department.

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