St. Louis, Missouri –United States District Judge Henry E. Autrey sentenced Justin Newkirk, 41, of Raytown, Missouri, to 96 months in prison for possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine while possessing a firearm.
According to the plea agreement, on August 14, 2018, Justin Newkirk and co-defendant Stephen Flynn arrived in the St. Louis area from Kansas City with an amount of methamphetamine intended for distribution. Newkirk employed Flynn as protection, and to drive him to and within the St. Louis area in order to distribute the methamphetamine.
On that date, officers from the Arnold Police Department made contact with Flynn and Newkirk after seeing their vehicle illegally parked in a handicap parking spot near a hotel in Arnold, Missouri. Flynn was in the driver’s seat, and Newkirk was seated behind him. Officers detected an odor of marijuana, and Flynn appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was concealing his hands from officers. Flynn and Newkirk were asked to exit the vehicle and the vehicle was searched.
Officers found drugs and firearms in multiple locations within the vehicle. Flynn had a Jimenez make, JA380 model, .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun in his waistband, loaded with six rounds of ammunition. On the front passenger seat next to Flynn was a money bag that contained plastic baggies, a digital scale, and 27.88 grams of methamphetamine. There also were additional rounds of ammunition that matched the caliber and brand of ammunition in Flynn’s firearm found on the front seat and in the cup-holder next to Flynn.
Newkirk sat in a rear passenger seat. On the floor next to his feet was a Taurus make, G2C model, 9mm semiautomatic handgun loaded with 12 rounds. Behind Newkirk was a black pouch containing three baggies containing a total of 42.17 grams of methamphetamine, numerous empty plastic baggies, and a digital scale.
Police then lawfully searched Flynn’s and Newkirk’s shared hotel room. Inside the hotel room, police seized a Bostich bag containing personal items belonging to Newkirk, and a single round of ammunition matching the ammunition in Newkirk’s firearm. The bag contained a locked pouch, which contained 168.85 grams of methamphetamine.
Prior to August 14, 2018, Newkirk was convicted of at least one felony crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. At the time he possessed the aforementioned firearm, he knew he had been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year.
Co-defendant Flynn previously pled guilty, and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 5, 2020.
The case was investigated by the Arnold Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security.