ST. LOUIS, MO – United States District Judge Catherine D. Perry accepted a plea, today, from Bernard Toler. The 33-year-old St. Louis County, Missouri resident pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to a plea agreement, on or about February 20, 2019, officers from the St. Louis County Police Department saw a vehicle with no visible license plates make a turn without signaling. Officers turned on the emergency lights to make a traffic stop, but Toler evaded police at a high rate of speed. Toler continued to flee police through a residential area while refusing to stop at multiple stop signs.
Officers eventually turned off their lights and sirens but maintained visual observation of Toler’s vehicle. Officers saw Toler park the vehicle in the parking lot of a business, at which time officers turned on their lights again and positioned their vehicles to prevent Toler from fleeing.
Officers approached Toler’s vehicle and noticed a revolver-style firearm in the middle compartment of the vehicle. Officers removed Toler from the vehicle and took him into custody. Officers seized the firearm, which was loaded with six live rounds, along with two digital scales, a marijuana grinder, a plastic bag containing 24 grams of marijuana and three cellular phones. The seized paraphernalia, drugs and phones are indicative of drug trafficking.
Toler admitted he intended to distribute some or all of the marijuana in his possession to one or more persons and he possessed the seized firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking activity.
The charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime carries a penalty of not less than five years, and not more than life, in prison and/or a fine of not more than $250,000.
Judge Perry has set sentencing for April 12, 2021.
The St. Louis County Police Department investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Geoff Ogden is handling the case.
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