Texas parolee lands in hot water in Hot Springs

by Scott Shindledecker
Daily Inter Lake | March 19, 2020 10:06 AM

A Texas fugitive is facing several felony charges after two separate incidents in Sanders County.

Daniel William Davis entered pleas of not guilty to two felony counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with the intent to distribute, two counts of possession of dangerous drugss, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted person and one misdemeanor count of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Sanders County Attorney Naomi Leisz, Davis was involved in two separate incidents between Sept. 19, 2019 and Jan. 18, 2020, that led to the charges.

In the first, a County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to an accident scene on Montana 28 where a vehicle was stuck on top of a pile of wood after it crashed into it.

A Plains Police Department officer also responded. The deputy was accompanied by a probation officer and the man allegedly driving the vehicle was known to them as Davis. The probation officer said she had a case file on Davis, but hadn’t reviewed yet. The deputy first became aware of Davis after he allegedly brought two pounds of methamphetamine into the county in 2018.

According to the affidavit, Davis was arrested by authorities in Bonner, Idaho, in January 2019 with a gun, cash and a small amount of meth. He allegedly told police in Idaho he was making another run to get more meth.

The Idaho investigator told the Sanders County deputy that Davis had pending felony charges in Texas and he wasn’t allowed to possess firearms. Also, in March 2019, Davis was arrested in Lincoln County, Montana, for failing to make a court appearance in Idaho. During that traffic stop, he allegedly had a gun, meth and ecstasy.

The deputy asked Davis where he lived and he said he lived in Plains with his parents. Davis also said the vehicle belonged to a Hot Springs resident and another friend named “Vince” was coming to tow him home. The deputy knew “Vince” was in the middle of drug activity, according to the complaint.

Because the crash occurred on a state highway, the Sheriff’s deputy called a Montana Highway Patrol trooper, who said he knew Davis to be a trafficker of drugs, especially methamphetamine and ecstasy.

Another Sanders County Sheriff’s deputy brought a drug-sniffing dog to the scene of the wreck. The dog had a positive “hit” on the driver’s door. After securing a warrant, a search of the burgundy Mazda 626 turned up several items. They included a glass jar with residue that tested positive for meth, a Colt 1911 .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, a steel safe, $2,000 in cash neatly folded inside a plastic case and covered with blue camo duck tape wrapped with a black hair tie.

Other items included a handheld police scanner and a police radio. After a second search warrant was obtained for the safe, officers found several hundred small zipper baggies, commonly used for the sale of drugs, 23 different SIM cards for cell phones and small digital scales.

Then, on Jan. 18, 2020, the deputy was on patrol when he saw a pickup truck that he was told Davis was driving. After stopping the vehicle, Davis was taken into custody and the deputy learned Davis’ interstate compact with Texas was denied after officials in the Lone Star state learned he had left without permission.

The next day, Jan. 19, 2020, a drug-sniffing dog detected narcotics in the pickup.

On Jan. 23, armed with a search warrant, lawmen found a loaded Ruger LCP .380 semi-automatic pistol, two black hard cases that held credit cards and SIM cards, a jar that contained a small amount of meth, about 80 small bags, gold and blue in color, a glass pipe with white powder residue, three iPhones and paraphernalia.

Davis attempted to get his bail reduced from $125,000, but the request was denied March 3 and he remains in the Sanders County Jail.

His jury trial is scheduled for the June 1 term.