EAST ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis man who tried to buy cocaine in Illinois has been sentenced to over seven years in prison. Steve P. Kennedy, 51, appeared at the federal courthouse in East St. Louis on Tuesday and was sentenced to 87 months behind bars for attempting to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Kennedy pled guilty to the charges in May.
The offenses all occurred on August 12, 2020, when, according to court documents, Kennedy and a co-defendant, Stephen Brown, drove to a restaurant in Pontoon Beach, Illinois, intending to purchase 2 kilograms of cocaine. The man they were meeting was a confidential source working at the direction of law enforcement. DEA agents arrested Kennedy and Brown at the restaurant shortly after they arrived.
At the time of his arrest, Kennedy was carrying a .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol with an attached silencer and seven loaded magazines, along with $33,000 in cash. Kennedy has a prior felony drug conviction from Mississippi that prohibits him from lawfully possessing a gun.
Brown had another $5,000 in his car and was also charged. His sentencing will be held in October.
As part of the sentence, Chief United States District Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel ordered Kennedy to forfeit his interest in the seized cash, pay a $150 fine, and serve a 3-year term of supervised release.
The case was investigated by the DEA in Fairview Heights.