Crime - Sacto 911

Butte County couple indicted in federal drug trafficking case

A federal grand jury in Sacramento has returned an 11-count indictment against a Butte County couple accused of trafficking in drugs via an illicit Internet website.

David Schell, 54, and Teri Schell, 59, both of Durham, are charged with conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release. David Schell also is charged with nine counts of distributing marijuana.

According to court documents, law enforcement agents discovered an Internet Protocol, or IP address that was accessing “Silk Road 2.0,” an illicit network of websites that facilitated the trafficking of contraband, particularly controlled substances, until its worldwide dismantlement on Nov. 6, authorities said. On the same day the website was taken down, agents executed a search warrant at the Schells’ residence and found more than 450 marijuana plants and quantities of processed marijuana and marijuana wax, a highly potent marijuana-based substance made from extracting THC from marijuana leaves.

Agents also found more than $12,000 in cash, as well as packaging and shipping materials, authorities said. According to court documents, David Schell mailed more than 100 packages overseas between January and September, using a variety of different return addresses.

The Schells are currently out of custody, authorities said, and are to be arraigned Wednesday in federal court in Sacramento.

The case resulted from an investigation by the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.