Veterinarian nabbed in ‘dark web’ drug bust now faces child porn charge

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 46-year-old Trussville veterinarian who was arrested in January in a fentanyl bust involving the dark web and Bitcoins is now facing a felony child pornography charge, according to Shelby County District Court records.

Wallace

David Ray Wallace, who lists an address on Sixth Avenue Northwest in Alabaster, was arrested by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency on Feb. 22 and charged with the felony child porn charge. As of Feb. 23, he remained in the Shelby County Jail on a $150,000 bond, which was higher than normal at the request of the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office.

Charging documents for the child porn charge list an offense date of Feb. 21.

Wallace’s Feb. 22 arrest came exactly a month after he was arrested alongside 33-year-old Dana Marie Leslie of Pelham in an operation conducted by the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force, SWAT operators, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, United States Postal Inspectors and investigators from the office of Homeland Security.

The bust came after law enforcement officers in the state of New York contacted ALEA investigators to notify them of a package of fentanyl they intercepted at JFK Airport. The package was intended for delivery in Shelby County.

ALEA, postal inspectors, Homeland Security investigators, and narcotics investigators with the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force identified the intended recipients of the package and conducted a search of the intended addresses for the fentanyl.

According to the Drug Task Force, Wallace purchased the fentanyl from the dark web using Bitcoins. During the operation, law enforcement officers seized about 18 grams of fentanyl.

Wallace and Leslie were each charged with felony conspiracy to commit a controlled substance crime, and were released from jail after posting bond two days after they were arrested.

Lt. Clay Hammac, the commander of the Task Force, said the amount of fentanyl confiscated from the two suspects “equates to nearly 36,000 fatal doses of fentanyl taken off the streets.”