With the help of a Facebook photograph, authorities last week arrested a man who allegedly received a large shipment of Xanax in the mail from a West Coast drug-trafficking ring and then tried to run over a team of federal agents in Metairie who attempted to apprehend him.
The suspect, Kory D. Kreider, evaded law enforcement through a serious of violent maneuvers in a Burger King parking lot, court documents show, backing an SUV through the restaurant’s drive-thru and ramming a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration vehicle before speeding away.
Investigators later identified the fugitive through his profile on Facebook, the social networking website, and arrested him a few days later on counts of assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon and possession with intent to distribute Xanax.
On May 29, agents staked out a mailing center on Metairie Road and watched as Kreider claimed a package linked to a California-based drug enterprise, mailed shortly before several of its members were charged by federal prosecutors in Oakland.
The drug ring, which allegedly accepted online orders and supplied customers in 46 states via U.S. mail, had manufactured and sold Xanax, a prescription drug often used to treat anxiety, among other controlled substances, the authorities said.
A DEA informant, who processed online orders for the drug group, had been providing agents with a list of Xanax orders placed through Silk Road 2.0, an encrypted online marketplace often used in drug dealing, court records show.
Before Kreider arrived at the Royal Mail and Parcel mailing center, agents obtained a search warrant and discovered the suspicious package — which resembled other parcels shipped by the drug ring — contained 1,200 Xanax pills. The package was addressed to a man who later told investigators that someone had used his identity without his permission to open a post office box after he lost his wallet.
The manager of the mailing center told authorities that someone had been calling to inquire about the package for three days. After executing the search warrant, investigators asked the manager to dial the number back and tell the caller the parcel had arrived.
After accepting the package and leaving the mailing center, Kreider walked outside to a Chevrolet Tahoe with no license plate, parked at the Burger King in the next block. At least four agents confronted him and shouted, “Police! Stop and put your hands up!” according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.
He allegedly disregarded the commands and climbed into the vehicle. The criminal complaint says he “began to reverse the vehicle in a manner showing an attempt to flee and causing the agents to dive out of the vehicle’s path to avoid being hit.”
After driving around the restaurant, Kreider allegedly jumped a steep curb onto Focis Street and continued in reverse for some 400 yards, the complaint says. He then “violently” backed into the parking lot of a strip mall, the complaint says, and crashed into an unmarked vehicle driven by a DEA agent who was trying to block his path. The agent received minor injuries to his shoulder, and his vehicle was seriously damaged as Kreider allegedly escaped.
Agents followed leads from cellphone records over the next few days and ultimately landed on the Facebook page of a man who was apparently a friend or associate of Kreider, court records show.
When they clicked on Kreider’s profile, the criminal complaint says, agents immediately recognized Kreider from his photograph as the man who had eluded them days earlier.
Follow Jim Mustian on Twitter, @JimMustian.