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Accused meth dealer appears in District Court

Posted: July 11, 2012 - 12:03am
Darrell Dawson sits in Juneau District Court on Tuesday on charges of drug misconduct charges. Dawson was arrested Saturday after authorities conducted a controlled delivery of a package that allegedly contained methamphetamine to a residence.   Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Darrell Dawson sits in Juneau District Court on Tuesday on charges of drug misconduct charges. Dawson was arrested Saturday after authorities conducted a controlled delivery of a package that allegedly contained methamphetamine to a residence.

A Juneau man charged with possessing methamphetamine with intent to deliver is being held on $25,000 bond.

Juneau District Court Judge Keith Levy ruled Tuesday to maintain that bail amount for 43-year-old Darrell Walter Dawson. Levy said a magistrate judge had previously set the bail over the weekend during Dawson’s arraignment.

Dawson was arrested Saturday evening after multiple law enforcement agencies — including the Juneau Police Department, Alaska State Troopers, the FBI, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs — conducted a controlled delivery of a package containing about six ounces of methamphetamine, according to prosecutors.

Shackled and wearing orange prison garb, Dawson appeared in court Tuesday on two counts of third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance, a class ‘B’ felony that can carry up to 10 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine. That means he could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

An affidavit states that a U.S. Postal Inspector contacted JPD on July 5, saying that she found a suspicious package. The package was addressed to Peer Amid Beads, a downtown Juneau shop, and sent from Capital Flowers and Gifts in Olympia, Wash.

The postal inspector discovered that the sender address did come from a florist, but the business name was incorrect. On top of that, the package was, in fact, coming from Portland, Ore., not Olympia, according to the affidavit.

Based on that information, a federal search warrant was granted and authorized the inspector to open the parcel. Inside, the inspector discovered about six ounces of methamphetamine inside some sugar jars, the affidavit states.

The package was remitted to JPD so they could conduct a controlled delivery. On Saturday, July 7, a parcel notice was placed in a post office box, as listed on the parcel, at the Mendenhall Post Office, and a call was placed to the owners of the box to tell them the parcel was ready.

The owners of the box picked up the package shortly thereafter and took it to a Mendenhall Valley residence. Once the box was at the residence, an alert was received that the package had been opened, the affidavit states. At that point, a contingency warrant was executed on the home, whereby officers contacted the residents.

One resident told officers that the package was intended for someone else and agreed to make the final delivery to the person, who was later identified as Dawson. The resident explained further that he or she was instructed to remove the sugar jars from the package, place them in a bag and call Dawson when the package was ready. Dawson normally arrived on a motorcycle, the resident said in the affidavit.

The resident cooperated with authorities and agreed to place the phone call to the alleged intended recipient, Dawson, the affidavit states.

Investigators staged themselves inside the house, located in the 9400 block of Moraine Way, awaiting Dawson’s arrival. Officers yelled “Police!” after Dawson had entered the home’s garage at about 10:15 p.m., the affidavit states. Carrying a motorcycle helmet and the bag of sugar jars, Dawson was ordered to the ground, but instead started to run, the affidavit states. JPD Investigator Brandon Lawrenson was ultimately able to detain him, and Dawson dropped the package and put his hands up.

During a search of Dawson’s person, police located an additional “baggie” of opaque, crystalline substance in his jacket pocket. Prosecutors say the baggie weighed a net 4.8 grams and the substance field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

He was taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center and held on no bail.

JPD said in a release that they executed a search warrant at Dawson’s shop in the 300 block of Village Street the next morning at about 5 a.m. They arrested a man for possessing a pair of metal knuckles, a prohibited weapon. The release did not state if JPD found drugs at the shop, and JPD could not be reached for comment by press time.

Prosecutors requested $25,000 bail for Dawson based on his criminal history. Court records show Dawson was convicted of attempted fourth-degree drug misconduct and making a false report in 2007.

According to charging documents, Dawson was pulled over by a JPD officer for driving with tinted windows in October 2006, and the officer found a small glass vial containing methamphetamine in Dawson’s pants pocket during a pat-down search. Dawson also gave false information about his identity to the officer, which is a felony.

Records show he pleaded guilty in January of 2007 and was sentenced to serve 130 days in jail with 80 days suspended for both counts.

Court records show Dawson was convicted on two counts third-degree felony drug misconduct in 2001 for knowingly manufacturing or delivering methamphetamine.

Dawson was also previously convicted of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor in 1999 for unlawfully and knowingly engaging in sexual contact with a person under 13, 14 or 15 years of age while being 16 years or older.

At the time a grand jury issued an indictment, Dawson would have been 24 years old and the victim, 13.

Third-degree sexual abuse of a minor is a class ‘C’ felony, and Dawson was sentenced to two years in prison with one year suspended.

Dawson was also convicted of assault in 1995 and felony “dangerous drugs” in 1989, the affidavit specifies.

The Public Defender Agency, which is representing Dawson, reserved its bail argument in court on Tuesday.

Dawson noted in court that he thought someone had posted his bond already, which is reflected in online court records. The records show a third party posted the bond on Monday, but that it was not processed. Court clerks declined to comment on why it didn’t go through.

“Your honor, if I may, I was told that the $25,000 cash only bail was posted and that something was done with that,” Dawson said to the judge.

“When it’s posted, the jail sends release documents, and that would be in the file. I don’t have any information on that,” Levy replied. “If you think that’s the case, you should talk to your lawyer.”

Dawson’s attorney, assistant public defender Grace Lee, said in a phone interview late Tuesday afternoon that her client had not contacted her yet about the matter, and that she didn’t have any additional information.

Levy scheduled Dawson to next appear in court on July 18. If Dawson is indicted by a grand jury before then, that hearing will be vacated and the case will be transferred to Superior Court.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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