A convenience store in the St. Louis area recently pled guilty to seven criminal charges involving the sale of illegal drugs and was assessed the largest criminal fine ever handed down to a corporation in the area. The incident also marked the first time that such a criminal fee was paid by a corporation in St. Clair County.
The company at the center of the incident is the Midwest Fuel Center Inc. of East St. Louis, which also does business as Crown Food Mart. The convenience store chain was ultimately fined $100,000 due to its violation of criminal laws dealing with illegal drugs.
The seven charges the corporation pled guilty to involve synthetic drugs sold at three of its East St. Louis stores. All three locations were raided by police in April of this year after reports surfaced about illegal drugs being sold from the stores. Though the initial focus of the investigation was on synthetic drugs, the investigation also revealed that the company was in possession of other drugs such as Viagra and Cialis without a license to prescribe or dispense such drugs. The three stores were located on Collinsville Avenue, State Street at 83rd Street and River Park Drive.
The corporation pled guilty to unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, unlawful possession with intent to deliver a look-alike substance, unlawful possession with intent to deliver a legend drug, or prescription drug, offering for sale a misbranded article, drug paraphernalia sale, permitting the unlawful use of a building and maintaining a public nuisance.
The investigation was conducted by the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department’s Drug Tactical Unit and resulted from a desire to target criminal activity linked to violent crimes in East St. Louis. Prosecutors said that the conviction represents the first in that county under the state’s Controlled Substance Analog law which was passed in 2011 and meant to target those producing and distributing synthetic drugs.
The prosecution was meant to serve as a kind of warning to other companies who might be inclined to turn a blind eye to criminal activity taking place on their premises. The funds will go towards the county’s police department and will be used to improve enforcement against other violators. The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Drug Tactical Unit’s Drug Asset Forfeiture Fund and the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Drug Asset Forfeiture Fund will each get about $18,000. The newly formed Metro East Police District will get $54,000.
Though a $100,000 fine sounds bad enough, that’s likely not the end of this story. Prosecutors said chargers are still pending against individuals involved the sale of illegal drugs, this deal only involved the corporation’s responsibility.
If you’ve had a run in with the law and find yourself in need of a St. Louis criminal defense lawyer capable of fighting for your freedom, don’t hesitate to contact our St. Louis criminal law firm today at (314) 863-0500.
Source: “Judge fines East St. Louis convenience store company $100,000 in drug case,” by Carolyn P. Smith, published at BND.com.