SUBJECT: Suspicious Postal Packages Lead to Drug Dealing Arrest
RELEASE NUMBER: 2016-NR-048
CONTACT: Lt. Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding
On Wednesday, June 22, 2016 Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office detectives assigned to the Joint Drug Task Force (JTF) arrested Mr. Christopher David Darnell on charges related to drug dealing. The investigation began after a United States Postal Inspection Service inspector alerted our office to a series of suspicious shipments addressed to Mr. Darnell.
On June 16, 2016 the United States Postal Inspection Service identified suspicious mail packages going to an address at 705 Chateau Drive, which is located near the Lawndale area of Evansville’s east side. An investigation confirmed the identity of the recipient as Mr. Christopher David Darnell. One of the packages was later intercepted and a Sheriff’s Office K-9 was utilized to confirm the presence of narcotics within the package. A postal inspector obtained a federal search warrant so that the package could be opened and inspected.
A search of the package revealed just over 550 grams of marijuana, more than 215 grams of THC infused wax candy, and four syringes containing over 25 grams of liquid THC. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the principal psychoactive component of cannabis (marijuana).
A smaller amount of the marijuana was then repackaged in the original mail package and prepared for controlled delivery to Mr. Darnell. The Sheriff’s Office and the Evansville Police Department conducted surveillance on Chateau Drive in preparation for the controlled delivery, but observed Mr. Darnell conducting counter-surveillance. This counter-surveillance and other factors led investigators to make the decision to conduct a traffic stop on Mr. Darnell prior to him taking delivery of the package. At approximately 4:00pm on June 22, 2016 the Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle operated by Mr. Darnell. Mr. Darnell was taken into custody without incident.
A search of Mr. Darnell’s address at 705 Chateau Drive revealed nearly 200 grams of marijuana, prescription narcotics, syringes containing THC oil, cookies containing THC, digital scales, drug paraphernalia, and two semi-automatic handguns. A total of $4,122 in US currency was seized from Darnell as a result of this investigation.
Mr. Darnell currently being held at the Vanderburgh County Jail on $2,500 bond.
Christopher David Darnell (pictured above), 40, of Evansville. Dealing Marijuana as a Level 6 Felony, Possession of a Schedule II Narcotic Drug as a Level 3 Felony, Possession of a Schedule IV Narcotic Drug as a Level 6 Felony, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia as a Class C Misdemeanor