St. Paul Felon Pleads Guilty, During Criminal Trial, to Shipping Drugs into Minnesota Correctional Facilities
MINNEAPOLIS – A St. Paul man has pleaded guilty, during his criminal trial, to attempted distribution of a drug analogue, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and illegally possessing firearms as a felon, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.
According to court documents, in March 2021, the Minnesota Department of Corrections (“DOC”) initiated an internal investigation into the introduction of narcotics into multiple DOC facilities, including Stillwater, Oak Park Heights, Faribault, and Rush City prisons. Investigators identified Walter Davis, a/k/a “Disney,” 40, as the source. On April 12, 2021, Davis attempted to mail six letters to DOC inmates that contained news articles printed on high-quality Strathmore cotton paper soaked in MDMB-4en-PINACA, a synthetic cannabinoid substance which produces hallucinogenic effects when consumed. Investigators intercepted and seized the letters. Investigators obtained search warrants for two residential locations Davis frequented. Following a search of the first location, Davis’s primary residence in Eagan, investigators recovered two baggies of fentanyl, $3,000 in cash, digital scales, and a loaded Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver. A search of the second location, an apartment in Maplewood, yielded over 400 grams of fentanyl, digital scales, a spray bottle containing MDMB-4en-PINACA, a package of Strathmore cotton paper, and a loaded Rossi .357 caliber Magnum revolver.
On June 15, 2022, Davis went to trial before U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright. On June 17, 2022, three days into the trial, Davis pleaded guilty to all counts, including one count of attempted distribution of a controlled substance analogue, one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and two counts of possessing a firearm as a felon. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later time.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Minnesota Department of Corrections.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Allison K. Ethen, Lauren O. Roso, and Ruth S. Shnider are prosecuting the case.