Saint Louis, MO

St. Louis' drug gang leader pleads guilty of possession, distribution of cocaine

George Vandervalk
Myriam Zilles/Unsplash

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI — Ronald 'Big Stink' Gales, 54, of St. Louis, pleaded guilty to multiple drug-related charges as he appeared before United States District Court Judge John A. Ross on June 21.

Since 2018, investigators with the St. Louis County Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation started investigating Gales. That time, he became a major supplier to a drug trafficking organization that supplies cocaine to other distributors operating in the St. Louis region.

During the investigation, law enforcement executed search warrants at various residences of individuals supplied by Gales, where they found cocaine and cocaine base in distributable quantities.

Investigators also purchased controlled cocaine from Gales and monitored Gales' operations before ultimately executing a federal search warrant at Gales' residence in October 2019. They discovered two .40 caliber handguns, $46,000 in cash, drug trafficking paraphernalia, and also cocaine and cocaine base in distributable amounts as evidence.

Judge Ross has set sentencing for September 28, 2021. Gales will face a minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a life sentence at the Bureau of Prisons.

Federal Bureau of Investigation and St. County Police Department. Louis investigated this case, and Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Yemm is handling the case for the United States Attorney's Office.

This effort is part of an operation of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-profile criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a multi-agency, prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven approach. To get more information about the OCDTF Program, please visit

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