Anderson guilty on drug, gun charges

By Bob Buckel | Published Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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After a quick, one-day trial, 32-year-old Daniel Ray Anderson was found guilty Tuesday afternoon in Judge John Fostel’s 271st District Court in Decatur.

Anderson will be sentenced by the jury Wednesday on two counts – possession of a controlled substance in an amount less than one gram and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

It was July 31, 2012, when Wise County Sheriff’s investigators went to a mobile home on County Road 3341, near Paradise, belonging to George David Shannon, 55, where Anderson lived in a rented room.

Investigator Chad Lanier and two other officers wanted to talk to Anderson about a stolen tractor.

But when he went inside at around 7:30 a.m., Lanier found Anderson standing in the doorway of a bedroom. At the investigator’s request, Anderson unlocked a padlock on the bedroom door and let him in – where he found a .22 rifle in the corner.

“He said, ‘That isn’t my gun. I can’t have a gun. I’m a convicted felon,'” Lanier testified Tuesday.

Anderson then consented to a search that yielded spoons, baggies, a larger bag containing “a crystal-like substance” and other drug paraphernalia – pipes, pills, a digital scale and an empty laundry detergent bottle filled with discarded syringes.

“It was consistent with being in business,” Lanier said. “It was consistent with drug dealing.”

Anderson, who had been previously convicted for failure to register as a sex offender, was arrested. Lanier testified he later had a conversation with Anderson in which he asked him what he was doing at the house.

“He said he was selling drugs,” Lanier said. “I asked him how he was using meth himself, and he said, ‘With a needle.'”

That interview was videotaped and admitted into evidence, and was available for the jury to see. They deliberated about a half-hour before returning with the guilty verdict just before 5 Tuesday afternoon.

Anderson’s case is the third to be adjudicated out of that July 31, 2012 ,incident.

Shannon, the homeowner, was tried and found guilty in April of drug possession under one gram and sentenced to one year in state jail, probated for two years, plus a $2,000 fine.

Stacie Davis, 40, who was also staying at the house, pleaded guilty in February to the same drug charge and got the same sentence, with a $1,000 fine.

The jury will assess Anderson’s punishment Wednesday.

Assistant Wise County District Attorney Pat Berry, who prosecuted Shannon, handled this case as well. Anderson was defended by attorney David Singleton, who called only one witness.

In summing up the case for the jury, Berry said methamphetamine is “a scourge on our society.”

“It’s related to so many other offenses, it’s unbelievable,” he said.

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