‘Special delivery’ leads to drug arrest

Published 6:26 pm Saturday, March 14, 2009

EURE – In his many years as a law enforcement officer, Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb thought he had seen it all.

Maybe now he has.

A unique drug bust took place in Eure on Wednesday where law enforcement officers actually delivered 2.7 pounds of marijuana to a suspect.

As a result, De Andre Windell Cofield, 38 of 50 Taylor Mill Road, was arrested and charged with a pair of felonies – possession of marijuana and possession with intent to sale and deliver.

Cofield was placed under a $10,000 secured bond. He was released on bond Thursday and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on March 19.

“I’ve been on numerous drug busts where we had warrants to search for the illegal goods; this time we had the goods and made the delivery,” Sheriff Webb said. “It was a total reversal of what we normally do.”

Webb said he was contacted earlier on Wednesday by Detective James Faison of the Virginia Beach Police Department. As part of their normal interdiction with Fed Ex, a package, bound for Cofield’s home in Eure from an address in Arizona, was searched after a drug dog made a “hit” on the box. A search warrant was then obtained.

“They (Virginia Beach authorities) were able to determine that marijuana was in the package,” Webb said. “It was packaged in plastic and shrink wrap.”

After repackaging, Virginia Beach officials contacted the Gates County Sheriff’s Office. Webb said deputies Al and Glynda Parker were dispatched to Virginia Beach where they took possession of the package.

Meanwhile, back at home, Webb and ALE (Alcohol Law Enforcement) agents hatched a plan.

“We figured that since this was a Fed Ex delivery, we had to make it look like a Fed Ex delivery,” Webb said.

A few hours later, the lawmen had rounded-up a white panel van and got their hands on metallic Fed Ex placards to attach to the van. The operation was realistic to the point that a Fed Ex employee’s shirt and cap were used.

With one of the ALE agents posing as the Fed Ex driver and three other agents hiding in the van, the delivery was made.

“Mr. Cofield answered the door, signed for the delivery and took possession of the package, Webb said. “When that went down, the other ALE agents emerged from the ‘Trojan horse’ (the van) and the arrest was made without incident.”

Webb added that a warrant was executed to search Cofield’s home, by hand and with a drug dog, but only a small amount of marijuana was found.

As far as Arizona shipper, Webb said the FBI had been contacted and were investigating that end of the case.

Webb thanked the ALE agents, Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia Beach Police for their assistance in helping to make the arrest.