It required three search warrants, but Cortez police ultimately found almost 3 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in the trunk of a BMW.
The driver of the car, Joseph Davis, 35, is now serving a 10-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to drug distribution charges earlier this month.
According to police, the bust came Davis was stopped about 10 p.m. Feb. 9 on East Main Street with a broken tail light. He was unable to provide a valid license or proof of registration and was arrested and charged with three misdemeanor traffic violations.
The next day, police conducted their first search of the vehicle and found a digital scale, a meth pipe and a fake one-liter soda bottle with a hidden compartment. A K-9 unit also alerted on the vehicle, but no narcotics were found.
That same day, detectives became suspicious after a woman claiming to be Davis’ wife arrived at the police station demanding the vehicle. A falsified bill of sale, complete with a notary signature from a deceased individual, was submitted, which led authorities to secure another search warrant.
Despite another alert by a different K-9 unit, authorities again came up empty-handed for narcotics when conducting a second search of the vehicle on Feb. 26.
More than a month passed before agents with the 7th Judicial District Drug Task Force notified local authorities on April 2 that 4 pounds of methamphetamine might be hidden inside the 1997 BMW. Agents said an informant provided the information based on jailhouse conversations with Davis.
On April 6, a third and final search was conducted, and 2.8 pounds of methamphetamine were discovered. The illegal narcotics were contained inside two 4-by-12-inch bundles that were wrapped in black electrical tape. The bales were embedded deep inside the trunk under a layer of spray foam. Firefighters were called in to remove the contraband with a metal cutter.
Davis, a reputed trafficker, reportedly was shot two years ago during a drug deal in Grand Junction. He pleaded guilty to distribution charges at an arraignment hearing on July 23. Davis has requested a direct sentence.
District Court Judge Todd Plewe subsequently ordered Davis to 10 years in prison with credit for time served followed by three years of parole. The BMW and about $800 in cash seized after the traffic stop were forfeited to authorities.
According to District Attorney Will Furse, Davis’ criminal history dates to 1998, and includes drug, weapon, theft, fraud and eluding convictions.