Dotson won't rule out cartel connection in shooting

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - A drug deal turned violent early Monday morning.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson said the drivers of a Ford F150 and a Toyota Camry started shooting at each other near Washington Avenue and Tucker Boulevard at around 2:30 a.m.

The chief said the shooters in both cars were involved in either selling or robbing drugs from each other.

Officers arrested the man in the Camry as he ran from the scene. The chief said the man had a 44 Magnum stolen out of Fairview Heights and $30,000 in cash. He was from Arizona.

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Officers followed the Ford F150 across the Stan Musial Bridge into Illinois, but they lost sight of the suspects. The suspects dumped the car in East St. Louis. Officers there found the truck.

NewsChannel 5 reporter Farah Fazal asked the chief if the man officers arrested was an operative of the Mexican cartels and if the cartels were moving into downtown St. Louis. The chief wouldn't rule out the cartel connection.

"I worry about drug trafficking all over the region," he said. "We know drugs like heroin have infiltrated our area. The violence that goes along with it is troubling."

He said he's adding more officers downtown to do hot spot policing. He believes one violent night isn't reflective of an unsafe downtown.


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