The sign clearly says: “Drug-Free School Zone.”
But that didn’t stop repeat drug offender Michael French from dealing heroin, a substance known to kill too many young people every year.
Now, though, French will be staring at prison bars for many years to come, after being found guilty by a jury and sentenced by a judge for drug dealing.
That news is a relief to College Hill neighbors, several of whom showed up to court to tell the judge the impact of French’s nefarious activities on their lives and community.
In January 2012, officers watched as French performed multiple drug deals a short distance from a school. When officers approached him, French threw two plastic bags into a nearby yard.
Laboratory results confirmed the bags contained almost 47 grams of heroin, worth thousands of dollars.
“The defendant profits on the addiction of others,” wrote Assistant Circuit Attorney Aaron Levinson in court documents. “He is a drug dealer who pumps vile poison into our community.”
Residents in College Hill said they are sick of the violence and blight that drug dealing brings to their neighborhoods. They simply wanted French off the streets and away from children.
As a prior and persistent offender, ACA Levinson recommended French serve 20 years in prison. Judge Thomas J. Frawley agreed and sent French to the Missouri Department of Corrections.