Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

October 18, 2013

Lawrence man gets 5 years for pot-dealing

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

ASHLAND — A Lawrence County man was sentenced Wednesday to five years in a federal penitentiary in a case that stemmed from him having marijuana delivered to him via the U.S. Mail.

Steven A. Davis, 40, pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. The 60-month term was the mandatory minimum sentence for that charge.

There is no parole in the federal system. Davis will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence and will also have to serve a three-year term of supervised release after he gets out.

Under the terms of Davis’ plea agreement, charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and being a drug user in possession of a firearm were dismissed.

According to court records, the U.S. Postal Service inspected a package addressed to Davis in December of last year. A drug-sniffing dog indicated the parcel contained a controlled substance.

Officers obtained a search warrant for Davis’ residence and conducted a controlled delivery of the package on Dec. 7. After Davis accepted delivery of the package and took it inside his home, agents executed the search warrant. The package was found to contain about 2.5 pounds of marijuana and additional quantities of marijuana were found in the residence.

Agents also found four handguns in the room with the package and the other marijuana. Three of them were loaded. Items consistent with marijuana use and trafficking also were located, records state.

Postal records indicated Davis had received three similar packages from the same source in the month leading up to his arrest. A search of Davis’ barn turned up packaging material from those three prior shipments, which were from the same general area as the package that triggered the search.

Davis then admitted to receiving multiple shipments of marijuana from a source in Sacramento, Calif., according to records. He said each package weighed approximately two pounds and that he was paying about $2,200 per pound.

Agents executed a search warrant on Davis’ iPhone and located messages consistent with marijuana trafficking.

Judge David L. Bunning recommended Davis be designated to the Federal Medical Center in Lexington to serve his sentence.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.