Damaged UPS package brings drug arrests

URBANA — Urbana police arrested two men Thursday after the seizure of a major drug cache from a central Urbana home.

Urbana police Lt. Bryant Seraphin said Landen E. Nelson, 30, of the 200 block of West Vermont Avenue, Urbana, and Antonio V. Gauna, 32, of Mattoon, were arrested Thursday afternoon at Nelson's home after police found cannabis, cocaine, hashish and various edibles containing THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.

Seraphin said the investigation began Thursday morning when security officials at the United Parcel Service facility on North Lincoln Avenue found a damaged package that was spilling dog food.

"It's broken open and the dog food starts to fall out," said Seraphin. "As they open it, they find packages of cannabis first and ultimately they find controlled substances."

Based on that find, Urbana police got a search warrant for the address on the package, which was Nelson's home.

When they served it, Seraphin said they found $3,610 cash, two guns, 17 pills of Ecstasy, 4 grams of psilocybin (mushrooms), about an ounce of powdered Ecstasy, almost 2 pounds of cannabis, about an ounce of hashish, and other pills believed to be controlled substances.

That was in addition to what was found in the damaged package: 1 1/2 pounds of cannabis, an ounce of cocaine powder, 6 ounces of hashish, and about 2 pounds of edibles containing THC including brownies, cookies and lollipops, he said.

Seraphin said both men told police that they flew to Los Angeles last week to buy the drugs and shipped it to themselves.

Seraphin said the dog food packaging was a new one on him.

"We are speculating it was some sort of (odor) masking technique and since dogs are trained to detect narcotics, they would smell dog food and keep on going. That's our theory, but each man denied packing it in dog food. We see a variety of things like smearing grease on drugs but I don't think I've ever seen dog food used as a methodology," Seraphin said.

Nelson and Gauna were each charged Friday with possession with intent to deliver cocaine; possession with intent to deliver Ecstasy; and possession with intent to deliver cannabis.

 

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Fedupwithstatereps wrote on March 01, 2013 at 11:03 am

"When they served it, Seraphin said they found $3,610 cash, two guns, 17 pills of Ecstasy, 4 grams of psilocybin (mushrooms), about an ounce of powdered Ecstasy, almost 2 pounds of cannabis, about an ounce of hashish, and other pills believed to be controlled substances.

That was in addition to what was found in the damaged package: 1 1/2 pounds of cannabis, an ounce of cocaine powder, 6 ounces of hashish, and about 2 pounds of edibles containing THC including brownies, cookies and lollipops, he said."

Wow these dealers had a boat load!  Congrats to the Urbana police for stopping them.

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 01, 2013 at 11:03 am

Couple of morons.  Shipping it to themselves is pretty lazy.  Fly to L.A., rent a car, and drive home.  Two guys taking turns driving 24/7 would cut down the risk of being caught.

Brownie wrote on March 01, 2013 at 4:03 pm

More tape, less prison!

ilpatriot wrote on March 01, 2013 at 5:03 pm

I did not see any mention of charges for the firearms. The US attorney needs to pick up the

charges. Americans want existing firearms laws enforced.

Excerpt from Project Safe Neighborhoods.

USING, CARRYING, OR POSSESSING A FIREARM IN CONNECTION WITH A DRUG-TRAFFICKING CRIME OR CRIME OF VIOLENCE

Whether or not you have ever been convicted of any crime, if you use or brandish, display, carry, or possess a firearm in relation to a drug-trafficking crime or a federal crime of violence, you can be charged - in addition to the crime itself - with a firearms crime. In fact, you can be convicted of this offense even if the gun is not on your person! The minimum sentence you can get for this crime is five years, with no parole. This sentence is in addition to any other sentence for the drug trafficking or violent crime. A person convicted of a second count of this offense - even during the same trial - will automatically receive another 25 years.

Actually since this crime involved interstate transportation the feds should pick up the whole thing. Save the local taxpayers some money.