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.”