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Police seized dozens of guns, $66,000 cash, marijuana and thousands of prescription pills during a raid on a home in Hartselle last week. Police said the drugs were shipped to Alabama from Texas inside computer central processing unit cases.
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Police seized dozens of guns, $66,000 cash, marijuana and thousands of prescription pills during a raid on a home in Hartselle last week. Police said the drugs were shipped to Alabama from Texas inside computer central processing unit cases.

Computer shipments hid drugs, officers say; 2 held

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

HUNTSVILLE — A Hartselle couple face drug trafficking charges after police learned that they had been receiving shipments of drugs hidden inside computers, a top Huntsville narcotics agent said Monday.

Filled with cocaine, pills and marijuana, the boxed-up computers made their way from Brownsville, Texas, to Hartselle via FedEx, said Sgt. Gerry Norris, commander of the Madison-Morgan County Strategic Counter-Drug (STAC) Team.

"Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials knocked down some drugs there and learned that they were headed here," Norris said.

Norris said local authorities received the tip Wednesday and worked fast to track the drugs to the home of Douglas Michael Birdyshaw and Dana Dixon Birdyshaw, both 30.

Working with ICE and the Decatur police Organized Crime Unit, the STAC Team raided the couple's house at 1505 Berryvine Drive N.E. early Thursday.

During the search, Norris said, agents discovered 25 firearms, about 3,500 Hydrocodone tablets and about 31/2 pounds of marijuana.

But Norris said cocaine was the couple's main business.

"The cocaine they were trafficking was moving pretty fast — so fast, we didn't recover any cocaine," Norris said.

Douglas Birdyshaw, who made about $28,000 last year by working as an electrician's assistant, had more than twice that amount in cash stashed in his bedroom, Norris said.

"Their income does not match up with their property," Norris said. "They have a half-million-dollar house with $66,000 in the bedroom."

Police estimated that the combined value of vehicles and other property seized from the couple was about $150,000.

Douglas and Dana Birdyshaw each face charges of trafficking in marijuana, trafficking in Hydrocodone and possessing drug paraphernalia.

They were booked into Morgan County Jail on Friday and later released on $300,500 bond each.

Norris said the investigation is ongoing and further arrests are expected.

"We've learned a lot about their organization," he said.

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