An East St. Louis man will spend nine years in prison for manufacturing and dealing fentanyl pills in the area.
Andre Walker was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in East St. Louis, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Donald Boyce.
Prosecutors charged the man after an investigation revealed he sold 324.8 grams of fentanyl between August 2016 and April 2017. In addition, federal agents found a “makeshift manufacturing operation at Walker’s home” where he was measuring and packing fentanyl into individual pills.
The release stated that when Walker was arrested, officers found him with 89.4 grams of prepackaged fentanyl, more than $3,000 in cash, and a loaded .40-caliber handgun with a bullet in the chamber and an extended magazine containing 19 bullets.
Court records indicate Walker entered into a plea deal with prosecutors.
“After considering many factors, such as the need to protect the public from dangerous narcotics like fentanyl, the District Court sentenced Walker to 108 months of imprisonment,” prosecutors wrote in the release.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, used in a medical setting to treat sever pain in cancer patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Officials say the drug is often mixed with heroin and cocaine on the illegal market, without the user’s knowledge.