SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A St. Louis man pleaded guilty in federal court to his role in a conspiracy to distribute heroin in the Springfield area.

Alphonso Battle, 55, pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin from Sept. 1, 2012, to April 3, 2017.

Battle said he traveled from St. Louis to Springfield on April 6, 2016, to deliver heroin to co-defendant Roosevelt Simpson, 65, of Springfield. According to a press release, law enforcement officers were conducting surveillance at Simpson’s residence at about 10 p.m. when Battle arrived and backed into Simpson’s driveway.

As federal agents tried to arrest Battle, fled on foot through the backyard of Simpson’s neighbor. Battle was found near the intersection of Kearney Street and Golden Avenue in Springfield, where he was arrested.

Simpson’s neighbor called the Springfield Police Department the next day to report that he found a canister in his backyard. A Springfield Police Department detective retrieved the canister, which contained approximately 63 grams of heroin and 72 capsules of Dormin (a common cutting agent).

Simpson was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison without parole after pleading guilty to his role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy and to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

Battle is the eighth defendant to plead guilty in this case. Seven co-defendants have pleaded guilty and been sentenced.