ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — A couple from Alaska is facing federal charges after investigators with the postal service intercepted a package containing a speaker. Inside that speaker, they found bundles of meth, heroin, and cocaine lining the walls.
Court documents show the progress of the investigation which started on August 9, and ended with the arrests of Kevin Leonard and Chantel Epstein earlier this month.
According to the United States Postal Inspector who led the investigation, the package was addressed to the Epstein family and sent from California. A warrant to search the package was obtained after it was flagged as suspicious.
Inside, investigators found an audio speaker which had been opened and resealed using its own factory screws. Inside the speaker, however, was a variety of different substances including 1,300 grams of methamphetamine, 160 grams of heroin, and 29 grams of cocaine.
"Based on my training and experience [...] this amount of methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine is consistent with possession with intent to distribute," Kevin Horne, investigator with USPIS said in a criminal complaint.
Investigators confiscated the drugs and made up dummy substances to replace them with, sealing the contents back inside the speaker enclosure, and bugging the box so that investigators could both track its location via GPS, as well as know when the box was opened.
An officer dressed like a postal employee delivered the box to the original address at 1050 Salmon Creek Lane in Juneau. The package was tracked, first picked up by Epstein, then handed off to Leonard back and forth before eventually resting at the Baranof Hotel in Juneau.
Horne said that five minutes after the box showed that it had been opened, investigators entered the hotel room the two were in and arrested Leonard and Epstein. The speaker with the fake drugs was found on top of a rooftop outside, with a nearby window above the roof shattered, investigators said.
The pair was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.