08/22/13 Travis Owen Davis, 29 of Argos, was sentenced Wednesday by Judge Robert O. Bowen to fifteen years on a charge of conspiracy to deal in methamphetamine. Three years of the sentence was suspended which results in a term of imprisonment of 12 years. Bowen approved an agreement reached between Chief Deputy Prosecutor Nelson Chipman and defense counsel Joseph P. Simanski.
It was alleged in the probable cause affidavit that a confidential informant advised then Undercover Narcotics Drug Investigator Ryan Hollopeter that he/she could purchase a gram of methamphetamine for $100 from a certain individual. A controlled buy was then arranged at a gas station in LaPaz.
The informant was given marked money and a digital recording device. In addition, Officer Hollopeter was able to sit in his vehicle parked at the gas station and film the entire transaction. Davis drove the seller of the methamphetamine to the gas station to make the deal. Officer Hollopeter had prior knowledge that Davis had never received a drivers’ license, and that any privileges he might have had to drive had been suspended. As a result, Hollopeter radioed to Marshall County officers Brandon Cooper and Jonathon Bryant for assistance to stop Davis’ vehicle.
Two other individuals besides Davis were in the vehicle. Arrested that night were Mystesia Yeager and Kenneth Schoff. Yeager had two hypodermic needles in her purse, a metal spoon and a third needle with a small amount of liquid. Upon booking into the Marshall County Jail, two separate bags containing methamphetamine and a coffee filter with residue were located on Yeager’s person. She admitted the substance was methamphetamine and that she participated with Davis and Schoff in its manufacture. It later weighed 3.5 grams.
Multiple hypodermic needles were found in Davis’ vehicle as well as additional spoons with residue. Upon questioning, and after being given his Miranda constitutional rights, Davis admitted the needles were his and that they would test positive for methamphetamine. In checking the national registry log for pseudoephedrine purchasing activity, Hollopeter found that Davis had 71 purchase attempts. Yeager and Davis gave recorded statements in which they admitted to cooking the methamphetamine in St. Joseph County and traveling from South Bend to Mishawaka to deliver and share meth with several individuals and then traveling to LaPaz to make a sale to the informant.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Nelson Chipman stated, “I highly commend Ryan Hollopeter for putting together an air tight case. The filming of the transaction was the icing on the cake for all three of these meth dealers. We won’t be hearing from Mr. Davis for awhile. Yeager has already received a 10 year sentence, with 4 years suspended, and Mr. Schoff is to be sentenced by the court on September 5 after having previously pled guilty to dealing in meth and being a habitual criminal.” Chipman added that the assistance of the confidential informant, who themselves have their own legal problems, was instrumental. “The assistance of Officers Brandon Cooper and Jonathon Bryant was also essential in creating a tight case.”