Missouri Attorney General: Three Additional Federal Indictments Secured Through Safer Streets Initiative

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Thursday that Special Assistant United States Attorneys (SAUSAs) deputized by the U.S. Attorney’s Office through the Safer Streets Initiative have secured three more federal indictments, bringing the total number of unsealed indictments to seven since the initiative was launched.

On July 10, 2019, a federal grand jury indicted Brandon Phillips for multiple counts of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, unlawful possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  In that same indictment, Jonathan Luster is charged with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and unlawful possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.  The indictment alleges that in May of 2019, the St. Louis County Police Department located firearms, more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, fentanyl and heroin in Brandon Phillips’ possession.  St. Louis County Police also located a firearm, fentanyl, and heroin in Jonathan Luster’s possession.  Additionally, the indictment alleges that in October of 2018, the St. Louis County Police Department located fentanyl and cocaine base in Brandon Phillips’s possession.  Both Phillips and Luster have previously been convicted of one or more crimes punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year.  Jen Szczucinski is the SAUSA handling the case.

On July 24, 2019, a federal grand jury indicted Kenneth Bender with one count of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.  The indictment alleges that on April 3, 2019, law enforcement located methamphetamine and a firearm in Bender’s possession.   Bender had previously been convicted of one or more crimes punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year.  Greg Goodwin is the SAUSA handling the case.

On August 1, 2019, a federal grand jury indicted Joshua Bostic with one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  The indictment alleges that on June 23, 2019, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Officers located a firearm in Bostic’s possession, along with 40 pills of methamphetamine.  Katharine Dolin is the SAUSA handling the case.

“Combating violent crime is a top priority of my office, and with the Safer Streets Initiative and the continual hard work of our Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys, we are making progress towards that goal. I look forward to continuing to work with our federal partners to fight violent crime in St. Louis and across the state,” said Attorney General Schmitt.

Attorney General Schmitt, along with U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Jeff Jensen, launched the Safer Streets Initiative in St. Louis.  The Safer Streets Initiative was then expanded to Kansas City and Springfield in cooperation with U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri Tim Garrison.

All persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Criminal charges are not evidence of a crime.