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Williston Park Man Convicted of Mailing Himself Cocaine

David Kappen faces up to 24 years in prison.

WILLISTON PARK, NY -- A man charged with trying to ship a kilogram of cocaine across the country to himself in a television box was convicted on Friday.

David Kappen, 35, was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and third degrees and faces 12 to 24 years in prison. He is scheduled for sentencing on July 26.

According to Kathleen Rice, on Aug. 3, 2010, Kappen and co-defendant Trent Singleton shipped a television box containing a kilogram of cocaine from a UPS store in Rancho Cucamunga, Calif. to an Auto Spa on Willis Avenue in Williston Park.

Local police in the UPS store grew suspicious that the defendants were shipping a 27-inch flatscreen television across the country and notified the Nassau County Police Department.

When the package arrived in Williston Park on Aug. 5, members of the narcotics team began surveillance around the Auto Spa, observing that a third co-defendant, Jamie Denton, placed the package into Singleton’s rental car at 11:40 a.m.

Singleton then left the Auto Spa in his car with Kappen following and later joined him in his vehicle, fleeng when officers attempted to pull them over. Singleton allegedly rammed a police vehicle during the pursuit. Both men were caught on foot shortly thereafter.

Singleton pleaded guilty to fifth degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison in December 2011. Denton, who was arrested on Aug. 6, 2010, pleaded guilty to fourth degree criminal facilitation in June 2011.

The defense’s claims that Kappen never touched the box and didn’t know there was cocaine in the package.

“This verdict is the result of excellent police work by two departments, an outstanding prosecution by members of my office, and the ability of this jury to see the truth,” Rice said in a statement. “Thankfully, this package was intercepted before its contents could poison our communities, and my office will continue to work closely with other law enforcement agencies to keep drugs off our streets and put dealers behind bars.”

Michael June 17, 2012 at 11:40 PM
But it doesn't say this happened at the UPS terminal, rather in a UPS store. So the only thing I can think of is that these guys were really, really nervous, and drew suspicion upon themselves.
NHL June 18, 2012 at 01:04 AM
I know David lkappen and it sickens me what has happened to him. I sat through 2 trials and the first resulted in a mistrial bc police lied under oath. Also in the second trial the police continued to lie and the da prepped witness against court orders and I witnessed the da be reprimanded by the judge for soing so. Also the defendant was offered another mistrial but couldn't not afford another triAl and therefore left his fate in the hand of a jury who didn't follow the law. The da in court said the defendant was never linked to this package and it was proven in my opinion that the defendant did not know what was taking place. This is a case of the police not knowing what happened And pinning it on the wrong guy. I'm honestly sickened and beyond disappointed with the justice system in this county.
NHL June 18, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Addendum: the Article does not mention that the reason the dfendants ran from the police was bc They were almost killed by a dective carol who was overzealous ad began to shoot t the passenger David kappen who was not trying to escape the police bc there were no drugs r weapons found in the vechilenin which thy were arrested or on themselves. The package was later found in a rental vechilenin which the conceded that the defendant was never in or ever had access to. Let me ask you, what will happen. To you if you're ever accused of a crime?
NHL June 18, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Please pardon my autocorrect
Steve Perry June 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM
These dummies tried to ship a tv for more than the tv was worth. There was a police officer in the UPS store in Cali conducting personal business and witnessed these fools doing foolish stuff.
TD July 02, 2012 at 06:00 AM
To whoever NHL is, Dave Kappen is a scumbag! I grew up with him as well. He has always sold drugs, even got his kid brother Burney hooked on the shit...which eventually led to his tragic death. Don't be disgusted with the justice system, be disgusted with a 35 year old boy who can't leave his high school drug dealing days behind him. He has been an embarrassment to his family his entire life! I feel bad for his mother and father(former cop) who have been disrespected by this low life...not too mention having to lose another son. I applaud the justice system for finally putting this punk behind bars!!! Don't worry NHL, I'm sure you'll find another drug dealer....
JNE July 08, 2012 at 07:17 AM
@MBH and @NHL, the letter of the law was followed in convicting Kappen. The jury unanimously made the reasonable inference, based on all the evidence taken together, that Kappen, beyond reasonable doubt, was clearly acting in concert with Singleton, who had actual dominion and control over the cocaine. This makes Kappen as guilty under the law as Singleton. Since the amount of cocaine was about 15 times what is typical for personal use, he was also found to be acting in concert with Singleton in possession with intent to sell. 1. As stipulated by the defense, Kappen and Singleton shipped the package in CA. 2. Shortly before Singleton picked up the package, a white Mercedes with chrome rims and PA plates, driven by a white male, pulled through the Auto Spa parking lot and stopped on Dartmouth right behind Singleton's rented Taurus. The two cars drove off together. 3. The same white Mercedes reappeared a few seconds after Singleton departed Auto Spa with the package, and both cars drove off north on Willis at a high rate of speed. Kappen was positively identified as the driver of the Mercedes. 4. A few minutes later, Kappen and Singleton arrived together in the same white Mercedes at a nearby bagel shop. 5. When the Mercedes was found, a red cap identical to the one Singleton was wearing was found nearby in the undergrowth. 6. The Taurus was found in front of Kappen's house. 7. Kappen and Singleton were found running from a back yard seconds apart and were arrested together.
Lauren August 05, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Attention td I'm NHL, aka David's sister! How date u talk about my deAd brother Bernie, learn how to spell when ur going to pretend to know people. Bernie died in a motorcycle accident get ur facts straight, and by the way Davis is not an embarrassment to any of us! I love my brother to death And whoever u are have the balls to tell people and well see. Don't talk for my family ur a loser commenting on this!
Lauren August 05, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Ur an idiot telling Nero find another drug dealer maybe u should get a life!
Lauren August 05, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Everyone else: please forgive my autocorrect thanks
Lauren August 05, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Also at the last writer: the package was not picked up in my brothers car, it was picked up early in the dt by two other men, I appreciate that u think u know but u weren't in court so dont talk like u know the facts thank u, and many of ur other points were inaccurate also, I just diont feel like explaining.
Vincent August 05, 2012 at 10:48 AM
Lauren: Certain things are better left unsaid. Especially after the passing of all this time.
JNE August 17, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Lauren: I'm sorry for the trauma that your family has been through. Clearly you are the real victims. However, you are incorrect to assume I was not in the courtroom. I was present for every second of testimony in the trial. The fact that your brother's car didn't directly receive the drugs is irrelevant. It was seen coordinating with the other car, both immediately before and immediately after the pick-up, and he was positively ID'd as the driver. There was no question he was acting in concert with Singleton, for the reasons I gave above, and that makes him as guilty under the law as if he had picked up the drugs himself in his own car. Perhaps your brother gave you a different version of the story; I'm telling you the facts as they were established in court.
JNE August 17, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Brett, Michael, Lita, Fargo & Ollis: The UPS store in Rancho Cucamonga, CA is frequently used by drug traffickers because it is the last pickup before the packages go on an airplane. UPS stores are preferred because they don't require photo ID to ship. The undercover detectives entered the UPS store to follow up on an unrelated case and witnessed Kappen and Singleton trying to ship a $400 TV overnight, at a cost of $300. When the clerk asked them why they would do that, Kappen made a phone call and changed it to 2-day service, at a cost of $100. They also bought insurance, but declined to package the TV in a way that would prevent damage, even though they were told insurance wouldn't pay if the TV wasn't packaged appropriately. Kappen paid in cash and used an alias. Both the "ship from" and "ship to" names were the same. This was suspicious behavior, but not probable cause, as Brett pointed out, which is why Kappen and Singleton weren't arrested in California. However, suspicious behavior triggers investigations; that's what detectives do. The California detectives got the tracking number and forwarded it to Nassau County police.
JNE August 17, 2012 at 06:37 PM
As far as the sentence, the jury neither knew nor was allowed to take into consideration what the sentence might be. The judge gave the jury specific instructions not to investigate the sentencing of this crime. However, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree is a Class A-I felony in New York, and criminal possession in the third degree is a Class B felony. The sentence will be decided by the judge, not the jury, as prescribed by the laws passed by the New York legislature. The jurors were instructed that they could provide no input nor make any recommendations regarding sentencing. Kappen faces such a "harsh sentence," as TJ said, because he is a repeat drug offender. If the sentence still seems harsh, take it up with Albany.
brian September 23, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Its been a long time comming, thank god dave is locked up he will never have a family of his own. He set up a 15 yo kid to go to jail cause he is a coward and a punk peice of scum ... now go be tough in prision we all wish you many painful days their haha.
brian September 23, 2012 at 01:46 AM
I want to say congrats to all the police involved in puting this garbage behind bars for all of his good years that he has left, how ya doing now tough guy :)
mr October 10, 2012 at 01:33 PM
td, you don't know them that well. bernie was killed riding a motorcycle and the autopsy showed no drugs in his system. a nassau po testified at the grand jury as to what he heard from a calif cop which turned out to be completely false(perjury was committed by two calif cops and a nassau cop). the ada was sanctioned for "prepping" a witness. dave never touched the package. the nassau cop proffered several different versions from the grand jury through the second trial. the jury was tainted in the second trial by a jury who admitted knowing david, shortly before the verdict. she should have removed herself from the jury in the beginning. there are a virtual plethera of reasons for a tod (trial order of dismissal) which will right this injustice in the appellate court.
mr October 10, 2012 at 01:59 PM
jne, three cops committed perjury and the ada prepped witnesses. how would you feel if they did it to you to get a conviction. they never said david touched the package or knew what was in it. carroll originally said he witnessed a drug deal at the autospa and no drugs or money was found. he lied to make his shooting look justified. what happened at the autospa didn't rise to the use of deadly force under art 35 because there was no crime (felony as prescribed in art 35) being committed. all a lie to justify the shooting. the first 911 call was made by a retired nassau det who described what was happening as a car-jacking. cops never identified themselves and began shooting at the car. if a retired det thought it was a car-jacking, what would you think? i'd run if i was being shot at. lies upon lies from beginning to end. if you want to know the truth read the gj and trial testimony.
mr October 10, 2012 at 02:04 PM
i didn't see you in the courtroom. i was there. carroll gave several different versions of dave's alleged participation depending on other testimony. read the transcripts and see for yourself. they were not looking for justice in this case, just a conviction.
mr October 10, 2012 at 02:09 PM
there were many improprieties by the da and police to obtain this conviction. it will all come out in the appeal. by the way, your the coward who won't identify himself and hide behind the internet. would you say those things to his face. i think not.
mr October 10, 2012 at 02:11 PM
the calif cops lied in their reports ande their testimony during the trial and they weren't charged with perjury. why not? are they above the law?
mr October 10, 2012 at 02:33 PM
you must be a juror who didn't know how to follow the law as it was given to you by the judge. the da never proffered any evidence that david knew or touched the tv in new york. cops had photos of singleton and denton at the autospa. they said david was there to, but no photos? interesting! constructive possession would mean he had access to the car the drugs were found in. never was in the car or had keys. carroll gave four versions of david's alleged participation depending on the testimony of others. four undercover cars there while singleton was picking up the package. one north, one south, one east, and one west. not one of them were able to "move-in"? kind of hard to believe. and when he got away, no call was made to HQ or state police? interesting? carroll saw denton carrying the package from office, across the shop, put it in the car, close the hood and start to leave. i believe there was enough time for at least one car to move-in. there also was enough time for carroll to take photos of this happening. carroll's partner said sin gleton did not leave right away (several minutes according to his report), couldn't move-in? the truth will come out during the appellate appeal and justice will finally be done.
mr October 10, 2012 at 02:44 PM
you weren't there for the grand jury or first trial where all the police were proven to have perjured themselves. you were there during the second trial when the ada "prepped" a witness(es. if you are a juror, how could you think others were not prepped. if you had been allowed to know the police perjured themselves during the first trial, maybe you would have voted differently. could you be the juror who knew the family and should have begged off the trial. did you speak with other jurors about knowing the family. where did the word "retribution' come from, your family or other jurors. if your not that juror, did she mention it during deliberations to anyone.
bernie lmao October 25, 2012 at 10:25 PM
listen daves dumb sister, if you had half a brain you would realize who your talking too. your scumbag brother sold cocaine for 20 years strait and now he is going to suffer like you wouldnt beleave , he thought he could sell his coke and set ppl up to go to jail so he would'nt be sent to the penetenchery . he got his , he thought he was above the law and he will now forefit the rest of his life for it. he will never everrrrr win an appeal . get over it and move on you stupid girl.......
Jen January 18, 2013 at 07:59 PM
If you know David than you would know he is a piece of garbage and he deserved what he got ...Karma finally caught up to him :)
JNE February 22, 2013 at 12:36 AM
@mr: You are correct that I was a juror on this case. The jury followed the law in convicting Kappen. As instructed by the judge, Kappen was guilty if he was acting in concert with Singleton. That means that it doesn't matter whether Kappen had access to the drugs or the Taurus, because Singleton had constructive possession (the keys to the Taurus were in Singleton's pocket at the time of the arrest) and Kappen was acting in concert. Whether or not you believe the police testimony was prepped or perjured is irrelevant, as our verdict didn't rely on the police testimony. The jury unanimously agreed that the other evidence, independent of the police testimony--Kappen and Singleton shipping the package together (which was stipulated by the defense), Kappen and Singleton arriving together at the bagel shop in Kappen's car minutes after Singleton left the Taurus with the drugs in front of Kappen's house, Singleton's red hat being found next to Kappen's car after it was abandoned, and Kappen and Singleton fleeing Kappen's abandoned car together, running through backyards until they were arrested together--all this, when taken as a whole, proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Kappen was acting in concert with Singleton. Kappen declined to put on a defense, incorrectly assuming that the prosecution had failed to make its case. Kappen chose not to offer any explanation or make any attempt to introduce reasonable doubt.
JNE February 22, 2013 at 12:39 AM
It has been suggested that Kappen and Singleton thought they were being carjacked when the detectives attempted to arrest them. If so, why wouldn't they have driven to a police station? Instead, they abandoned the car and an article of easily-identifiable clothing, then fled through people's backyards. Regardless, the jury knew nothing about the attempt to run over Det. Carroll or that shots were fired until after the trial, so this had no influence on the verdict. The juror @mr referred to does not know the defendent directly. If anything, any possible connection to him would have influenced her toward acquittal, yet she set aside her apprehensions and voted for conviction, uanimously with the rest of the jury. It strains crudulity to claim that Kappen was a victim of circumstance.
john k July 31, 2013 at 10:15 AM
it's amazing that the two ca cops were caught committing perjury and filing false reports resulting in a mistrial. it's also amazing that carroll had told 5 different versions of what transpired. when, if ever was he telling the truth. it's also amazing the DA hasn't charged any of the POs with perjury. Justice? don't think so. DA violated judges instruction in speaking with a witness during recess while she was still on the stand. juror said " i'm afraid of retribution. realized after two days she knew the family. how? speaking with family/friends in violation of judges instruction not to discuss the case with anyone. everything at the gas station was dropped because the PO reports were false and they could not substantiate any of the lies they proffered to make the arrest. The 911 call at the station was made by a retired NCPD detective who, in his eyes was witnessing a carjacking. heard no one say " stop, police officer". the employees of the station thought they were being robbed when the PO(?) stormed the station. what would a reasonable person do, especially when shots were being fired. I personnally have been shot at annd had weapons pointed at me. my first instinct is to take cover or get out of there. the cops had pictures of everyone involved singleton and denton at the station except kappen. interesting? testalying is a cancerous problem within this department. punish a cop? not happening. cop shooting cab driver, pulling a gun on a bartender, hit and run accident in an unmarked NCPD car. shooting a hofstra student when he had the responsibility to retreat until the negotiating team arrived. NCPD is out of control.
tj July 31, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Seems excessive for such a dumb crime....could have been a cry for help... But anything over 5 year is harsh.....That lady from Wantagh killer her husband and dumped his body on the parkway got less....And some guy who hit and ran when he killed a construction worker got less time...

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