Iredell County Sheriff’s Office investigators have filed a criminal charge against a western Iredell County man in connection with a fatal overdose that occurred in July of 2022.

Dakoda Drake

Sheriff Darren Campbell announced the arrest of Dakoda Michael Drake, 26, of Lynns Lane, Statesville, in a news release Monday afternoon.

On July 23, 2022, ICSO patrol deputies responded to 3898 Hickory Highway, west of Statesville, in reference to a possible narcotics overdose, the sheriff said.

After arriving at the scene, deputies and Iredell County EMS personnel determined that the victim — identified as Julius Chance Gunter — was suffering from an apparent drug overdose. Gunter, 26, was treated at the scene and transported to Iredell Memorial Hospital, where he later died, according to the news release.

ICSO Narcotics detectives were assigned to the investigation and attempted to identify any witnesses with whom the victim had contact prior to his death, Campbell said.

During the investigation, which included interviews along with a forensic examination of phone and social media records, the investigators identified Drake as the individual who provided fentanyl to the victim, according to the news release.

An autopsy was conducted at the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office. After months of waiting, the Sheriff’s Office recently received the Toxicology Report indicating the victim died as a result of a fentanyl overdose.

Based on all of the evidence gathered during this investigation, the investigators obtain a warrant charging Drake with felony death by distribution.

Drake was arrested on Friday, November 24. He was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center, where he was served with the arrest warrant. Magistrate Nethken issued a $350,000 secured bond on this charge.

According to the ICSO, Drake’s criminal history includes the following charges: misdemeanor possession of marijuana, felony obstruction of justice, and felony possession of a weapon by an Inmate.

The suspect is currently on probation for felony possession of a weapon by an inmate.