Columbia man, woman plead guilty to heroin trafficking

3 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago Monday, August 31 2015 Aug 31, 2015 Monday, August 31, 2015 1:46:00 PM CDT August 31, 2015 in News
By: Chris Gothner, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - Federal prosecutors announced Monday that Alec Matthew Ell, 20, and Angelica Melanie Polston, 20, both of Columbia, pleaded guilty before a federal judge to their roles in a conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Prosecutors said by pleading guilty Ell admitted to participating in a conspiracy to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin in Boone County from July to October 2014.

Prosecutors said Ell admitted to selling a half-gram of heroin, packaged in four separate baggies, for $100 to an undercover police officer and a confidential informant on three separate occasions in July 2014.

According to prosecutors he also admitted to selling a quarter-gram of heroin, packaged in two separate baggies, for $50 to an undercover Jefferson City police detective in July 2014. The transactions occurred in various parking lots in Columbia.

Prosecutors said Polston accompanied Ell, her boyfriend, on at least one incident. They said she participated in the sale of a half-gram of heroin, packaged in four separate bags, to an undercover Jefferson City police officer for $100. That transaction occurred near Columbia's Hickman High School.

On Oct. 14, 2014, prosecutors said a Columbia police officer and a detective spotted Ell and Polston near Eighth Street. The detective approached Ell and informed him he had an active warrant for his arrest. Ell fled on foot and police later captured him as he tried to jump a fence.

Prosecutors said police found heroin in Ell's pocket, which was split into 16 separate baggies or "tenths."

Ell and Polston face five to 40 years in federal prison without the possibility of parole, plus a fine up to $5 million.

Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the United States Probation Office completes its investigations.

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