June 15, 2012
Jury Convicts Williston Park Man of Mailing Himself Package of Cocaine
Kappen faces up to 24 years in prison; two co-defendants have already pleaded guilty
MINEOLA, NY – Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that a jury has convicted a Williston Park man of trying to ship a kilogram of cocaine across the country to himself in a television box.
It took a jury about a day to convict David Kappen, 35, of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First and Third Degrees yesterday afternoon. He faces 12 to 24 years in prison and is scheduled for sentencing on July 26.
Rice said that on August 3, 2010, Kappen and co-defendant Trent Singleton shipped a television box containing a kilogram of cocaine from a UPS store in Rancho Cucamunga, California to an Auto Spa 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 of the suspicious package. The package arrived in Williston Park on August 5.
Members of the NCPD’s Narcotics Vice Bureau set up surveillance and observed Kappen and Singleton in the vicinity of the Auto Spa that morning, and at approximately 11:40 a.m., a third co-defendant, Jamie Denton, placed the package into Singleton’s rental car. Singleton left the Auto Spa in his car with Kappen following in his own car. Kappen later joined Singleton in his vehicle and the two fled from police when officers attempted to pull them over, with Singleton ramming a police vehicle during the pursuit. Both men were caught on foot shortly thereafter.
Singleton pleaded guilty to Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison last December. Denton, who was arrested on August 6, 2010, pleaded guilty to Criminal Facilitation in the Fourth Degree in June 2011.
The jury rejected 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. “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.”
Assistant District Attorneys Michelle Burke and Justin Kramer of the Street Narcotics and Gang Bureau are prosecuting the case for the DA’s Office. Kappen is represented by Bruce Barkett, Esq.