Metro-east man gets life sentence plus 15 years for fentanyl-related death

A U.S. district judge in Missouri on Friday sentenced a metro-east man to life in federal prison, plus 15 years, for his role in a drug deal and fatal shooting five years ago.

A jury in September found Deoman Reeves, 32, of East St. Louis, guilty of 11 felony counts, including weapons charges related to the shooting death of David Anderson in the 1100 block of Kingsland Avenue in University City on Oct. 21, 2019.

Other counts on which he was convicted include:

  • One count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute in excess of 40 grams of fentanyl

  • Four counts of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl

  • Three counts of possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime

  • Two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm

  • One count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, resulting in death.

According to the criminal complaint filed with the U.S. Court for the Easter District of Missouri, Reeves and others fired multiple shots at Anderson in retaliation for a shooting in St. Louis County the day before. Anderson was not involved in the St. Louis County shooting, court records state.

“This is a dangerous individual who has a callous disregard for human life,” said Special Agent in Charge Bernard G. Hansen of the Kansas City Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “There is no higher priority for ATF than keeping our communities safe and we will use all available resources to identify and investigate those who commit violent acts.

“This sentence should send a message to others that violent behavior in our communities will not be tolerated.”

Judge Matthew Schelp sentenced Reeves’ co-defendant, Franklin Bell, now 32, on February 12 to 20 years in prison. Bell pleaded guilty on the eve of his trial in September to a fentanyl distribution conspiracy charge, five counts of possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl and two counts of possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Bell admitted in his plea that he, Reeves and Arrion Jones were involved in selling fentanyl in the St. Louis area.

After a September 2019 non-fatal shooting, the University City Police Department requested the assistance of the ATF. According to court records, a confidential informant and undercover ATF agents began buying fentanyl from Reeves and others, who were armed while selling the

fentanyl. Reeves also sold firearms to a confidential informant, charges state.

Deronte McDaniels, now 26, was sentenced in federal court in October to 150 months in prison. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and admitted being the target of a shooting on Oct. 20, 2019, that wounded Jones.

McDaniels took Jones’ firearm and returned fire and was one of the men who shot at Anderson the next day, his plea says, court records state.

Jones is serving a 40-month sentence.

The ATF and the University City Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul D’Agrosa and Erin Granger are prosecuting the case.