U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California
(916) 554-2700
November 20, 2014

Butte County Couple Indicted for Drug Trafficking as Part of Silk Road 2.0 Takedown

SACRAMENTO, CA—A federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment today against David Schell, 54, and Teri Schell, 59, both of Durham, charging them with conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. David Schell is further charged with nine counts of distribution of marijuana.

According to court documents, law enforcement agents discovered an Internet Protocol (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 November 6, 2014. 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, which is a highly potent marijuana-based substance made from extracting THC from marijuana leaves. Agents also found more than $12,000 in cash and packaging and shipping materials. According to court documents, David Schell mailed more than 100 packages overseas between January and September of this year, using a variety of different return addresses.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Special Assistant United States Attorney Josh F. Sigal is prosecuting the case.

The defendants are currently out of custody. They are scheduled to be arraigned on November 26, 2014, in Sacramento.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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