Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Final Fugitive in St. Louis Drug Case Arrested in Phoenix

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 1:28 PM

Brian Knight (right) was the last fugitive wanted in a drug case following the arrests of William Gavin and Leaha Hazza. - IMAGE VIA FBI
  • Image via FBI
  • Brian Knight (right) was the last fugitive wanted in a drug case following the arrests of William Gavin and Leaha Hazza.

Federal agents have captured the final suspect in a gang-connected drug case that stretched from St. Louis to Arizona, New Mexico and Alaska.

U.S. Marshals arrested 44-year-old Brian Knight on November 28 in Phoenix, the FBI announced on Tuesday. He had been on the run since his indictment in October 2015.

Over the course of more than two years, federal agents and cops from Albuquerque to Anchorage seized 4.5 kilograms of cocaine, 2 kilograms of heroin, 4.75 pounds of marijuana and $28,050 in cash. Authorities claim the drugs they intercepted represent only fraction of the shipments the organization was hauling into St. Louis from Phoenix.

A total of nine people were charged with federal narcotics and conspiracy crimes in the indictment. Five of the defendants who were arrested in the early days of the case have already pleaded guilty and are doing time. Charges against one, Bruce Johnson, were dismissed.

In May, the FBI issued a public plea for help finding Knight and two other fugitives: another alleged transporter named Leaha Hazza, 23, of Arizona and William "Chillard" Gavin, 42, of St. Louis.

Gavin was associated with the 49 BAD Bloods, one of the most violent street gangs in St. Louis, according to the feds. Investigators believe he oversaw the delivery of 120 pounds of marijuana and 16 kilograms to St. Louis during just three months in the spring of 2015.

Gavin and Hazza were busted in August during a routine traffic stop in Phoenix. Authorities say they were riding in a stolen car.

Tips from the public finally led to Knight's arrest last week, according to the FBI. He's facing charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine and heroin.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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