Two California men arrested in connection with drug distribution case

Two California men arrested in connection with drug distribution case

Two California men were taken into custody on Wednesday for allegedly conspiring to import and distribute drugs in the St. Louis area, U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan confirmed.

Callahan said that Poe Purcell, 40, and Chalamar Schultz Tuipelehake, 36, and Francis Frost, 32, were indicted by a federal grand jury on July 8 on multiple felony counts, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine and conspiracy to enter a secured area of airport under false pretenses.

Police arrested Purcell and Tuipelehake in Los Angeles, California, on July 15; while Frost is still at large. A manhunt to apprehend Frost is underway.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration officials, Tuipelehake made arrangements for drug traffickers to transport drugs from Los Angeles on commercial airlines. Purcell, an American Airlines Cargo Fleet Service Clerk, concealed the drugs. Frost would retrieve the luggage containing the drugs.

It is worth mentioning here that charges set forth in an indictment are just accusations and don't constitute evidence of guilt. Thus the defendants will be presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

The charges labeled against Purcell, Tuipelehake and Frost carry penalties ranging from ten years to life in prison.

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