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Dakoda Michael Drake
courtesy of Iredell Co. Sheriff's Office

Statesville Man Charged with Death by Distribution

26-year-old Dakoda Michael Drake of Lynns Lane in Statesville has been arrested by Iredell County Sheriff’s Officers on a charge of felony death by distribution.

Events leading to his arrest began on July 23 of last year when Patrol Deputies responded to a possible narcotics overdose at an address on the Hickory Highway, west of Statesville. Upon arrival, Deputies and Iredell County E.M.S. determined that the victim, 26-year-old Julius Chance Gunter, was suffering from an apparent drug overdose. He was treated at the scene and transported to Iredell Memorial Hospital, where he later died.

During their investigation, which included interviews and a forensic examination of phone and social media records, Narcotics Detectives identified Dakoda Michael Drake as the suspect who provided fentanyl to the victim.

An autopsy was conducted at the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office. The Iredell County Sheriff recently received the toxicology report confirming that the victim’s cause of death was a fentanyl overdose. A warrant was issued for Drake’s arrest.

The suspect was taken into custody Friday (November 24). He was placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $350,000 secured bond. He’ll appear in District Court on December 13.

Drake has a criminal history that includes felony counts of obstruction of justice and possession of a weapon by an inmate, along with a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana. He is currently on probation for felony possession of a weapon by an inmate.