THE DRUG GAME FROM THE INSIDE
Dan “Tito” Davis comes from a town in South Dakota that’s so small everyone knows their neighbor’s cat’s name. But once he got out, he made some noise. While at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, he started manufacturing White Crosses, aka speed, and soon had the Banditos Motorcycle Club distributing ten million pills a week.
˃˃˃ LIFE ON THE RUN
After serving a nickel, he got into the weed game, but just when he got going, he was set up by a childhood friend. Facing thirty years, Davis slipped into Mexico, not knowing a word of Spanish, which began a thirteen-year odyssey that led him to an underground hideout for a Medellin cartel, through the jungles of the Darien Gap, the middle of Mumbai’s madness, and much more.
˃˃˃ THE ULTIMATE FUGITIVE STORY
Tito didn’t have a mega-mansion filled with pretty girls and expensive cars. He survived in the Third World facing adversity at every turn. Millions of dollars came and went as Tito stayed one step ahead of the Feds and the Federales.
˃˃˃ A MUST READ PROVOCATIVE PAGE TURNER!
How did you meet the Medellin Cartel members in prison and why did they trust you enough to let you live with them and their families while protecting you in Colombia?
In prison everyone has something in common, which is not leaving. In my situation I wanted to make my time productive. I wanted to learn Spanish and in order to do that I had to get with the native speakers and the people I knew with the best Spanish and the highest education were from Columbia. Some of them also wanted to learn English, so I spoke with them and we made an agreement that I would teach them English and they would teach me Spanish.
After a few lessons I invited them to come to the weight pile with me to lift weights. We became better friends over this and were practicing Spanish and English while lifting weights. This is actually how I met members of the Medellin cartel and how our friendship grew. None of the other Americans wanted to learn Spanish or the few that tried only lasted two or three lessons. Since I was virtually the only Gringo that associated with the Latin’s, they considered me different than the normal Americans in the joint. We ate together in the chow hall, lifted weights together 5 to 6 days per week, and continued practicing our speaking of Spanish and English with each other.
We were a family in there and had many discussions about our cultures, our families, our goals and just about life in general. I got along very well with the Colombian cartel members and we formed a relationship where we trusted each other and had each other’s backs.
Lead our readers through how you were kidnapped from Venezuela by mercenaries employed by the US Government.
I received a message from a friend of mine that was going through a divorce with his wife at the time. His soon to be ex-wife wanted 2 million dollars and custody of the kids or she was going to give me up to the DEA the FBI, US marshals and just about every Federal agency.
My wife who was Venezuelan did not know my real name, but my buddy had told his wife my real name during pillow talk. With that, his wife gave the feds all the information she could think of right down to my cell phone number and the exact spot that I was living. She didn’t wait for the response about the $2 million or custody of the kids and just gave me up.
My buddy sent me an email with her deposition and after reading it I couldn’t sleep for 2 days. I started going through all my files and began destroying them along with my computer hard drives because I had been paying his bills and had copies of his passport and credit cards.
After I had done all that I left the country. At the time I had a large money exchange in Venezuela and knew numerous people in power doing business down there. I contacted them and they assured me not to worry. Hugo Chavez the then President of Venezuela was recently in front of the United Nations, where he had called US President Bush “the devil” and there was no extradition treaty. In addition Chavez had demanded that United States government turn over Luis Posada Carriles, a convicted terrorist, who blew up an Cuban airliner killing 73 people. Posada had escaped from a Venezuelan prison; Chavez said he would cut off the Venezuelan oil supply to the United States if the US Government did not return him. I knew that wasn’t going to happen!!
They told me that I was definitely in the safest place on the planet, but I felt different. I didn’t listen to my gut because I had bribed numerous people there to get permits and no one has more money or power than the US Government. They also told me that they knew if they put out an Interpol Red notice there would be no reaction to it. The US government never put out a red notice because if they did I would have known and I would have left. However, what they did were hire mercenaries to kidnap me!!! I went to sleep thinking I was safe where I was, believing that I would know if there was any legal action being pursued against me, but I was wrong and that error cost me years of my life!
As I was leaving my resort in Playa El Yaque, Venezuela, I saw a friend of mine looking to book a room, but the place was totally sold out. I was trying to help him find another place to spend the night and after walking through the restaurant I noticed that there were some large men, dressed in slacks and shirts sitting outside at some tables on the terrace. They were definitely out of place and I felt immediate danger!! It was then that I saw Suburban’s with blacked out windows on the street.
I was only wearing sandals and board shorts, but I knew I had to get out. I was either going to head for the water or the desert, but before I could move these guys got up, tackled me on to the marble floor and choked me down. They were choking me so hard I couldn’t scream, “I’m getting kidnapped” to my wife who was only a few meters away at the Spanish school.
I tried to scream “I’m getting kidnapped,” but nothing came out of my mouth, not one sound. At this point I was just trying not to suffocate!!! They quickly put a black nylon bag over my head, handcuffed me, picked me up and threw me in the middle of one of the suburbans that I had seen before. The caravan drove hard and fast, going in the ditch around the police station that was guarding the entrance to El Yaque.
They took me to a safe house near the airport on the island of Margarita. There they handcuffed me to the top bunk, which prevented me from being able to sit. I was just standing there, handcuffed, when they started interrogating me.
They kept asking me where the money, the boats and planes were. I told them that I had money in the bank, but I couldn’t get it out until the banks were open. I also told them that I wasn’t involved in anything illegal and that I had no planes and had no boats. It didn’t matter thought because they kept reiterating the questions, “Where are the planes? Where are the boats? Where is the money?” It was a very long night and I kept asking to talk to the person in charge, which of course never happened. The next morning a plane came in and the people guarding me told me to brush my teeth. I responded that I didn’t have a toothbrush, so one of them put some toothpaste on his finger and then told me to do the same and just brush my teeth with my finger. He un-cuffed one of my hands and I began to brush my teeth. After that I was loaded on the plane along with guys wearing fatigues. They were dressed for jungle warfare with bayonets strapped to their sides and looked like they had been fighting gorillas in the jungle.
I was flown from the island Margarita to the mainland where they took me to a series of safe houses and then finally to a military like prison. The bottom line was in about 5 days and I was still not able to talk to whoever was in charge. I couldn’t get in front of the judge, talk to a lawyer or get in contact with anybody. I had been kidnapped!!
On the 6th day my kidnappers forced me into an old van like vehicle. They took me to the Caracas airport where they surrounded me with the same type of individuals dressed in camouflage fatigues and marched me up handcuffed to a US Airliner.
Being a pilot I looked at the end number, which started with an N for November, so I knew that the US government considered this airplane registered in the United States. This airliner was US property regardless of where it is located. Once they forcibly escorted me to the gate and through the door into the fuselage I was taken into custody by Homeland security. From there I landed in Miami and woke up in a prison cell at FDC Miami, facing life in prison. They wouldn’t allow me a phone call and every time I asked the reply was, “Davis you had your phone call over 20 years ago.” I finally did get that phone call, but it took me about 3 weeks to receive it.
I called my Venezuelan lawyers, who told me that the mercenaries were paid off in cash and green cards. I knew I should have listened to my gut!!
When you were an international fugitive in Latin America you studied under aliases at various universities. How did you manage to get registered in your classes and what universities did you attend?
When I left the United States I did not plan to ever return except if I was in handcuffs or had pennies in my eyes.
With that being said I took being a fugitive very seriously. I had never done any drugs nor did I drink and I was going to start an entirely new legitimate life. In order to do so I needed to educate myself. For the first two years I was so paranoid that I slept with my shoes on and I always had a backpack or a go bag ready. Sometimes when I heard sirens going off I would jump up and get ready to leave, but then I realized that if they were coming for me there would be no sirens or red lights.
I studied Spanish first in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Academia Hispano Americana and then at the University of Mexico, Guadalajara as well as Institution Cultural Oaxaca, in Mexico. I still did not have a name or a passport, which lead to serious concentration problems while studying, due to everything that was running through my mind. Also, since I was very paranoid I would leave after 6 weeks to attend another school in another city or another country. Guatemala was the one place I spent 3 months studying and networking.
I attended Pontifical Bolivarian University in Medellin Colombia with the help of my contacts in the Medellin cartel. They told me I needed to go to that private university because even with their connections I would probably be kidnapped within a month if I went to a state school. Many students were being indoctrinated into the guerilla lifestyle in the state schools, so I studied at the private university where my contacts enrolled me with the name on a stolen California driver’s license.
In addition I studied a semester at the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Florianopolis, Brazil. I was studying business, Portuguese and Spanish culture trying to establish a new life. I was fortunate because I had sufficient funds so that I could study. I was looking for a country where I could live in peace and not have to worry about being extradited from. I didn’t have to work and I didn’t even think about doing anything illegal, so I put my resources into educating myself for that particular country that I was researching to set up a life in.
It was not easy starting over. I was always traveling, studying and trying to figure out these new cultures. There was no communication with my family or old friends and finding new people that I could relate to was difficult in any foreign country. With my situation it was virtually impossible. I was living a lie and I was very lonely! Not to mention having to use stolen passports and not having a real ID. If anyone called the embassy of the country the stolen passport was issued from, all they would have had to do was run the number and see that it came up stolen!!! It is game over!! That very real fear was always on my mind.
You were in many dangerous and life threatening situations while living as a fugitive. What was one particular situation that you contemplated as being “the end?” You felt that you were going to get killed or die trying to escape from it.
- I was in the mountains of Columbia when a paramilitary group hunting Guerrillas stopped us. They found a GPS in one of the guy’s backpacks and accused us of being DEA spies. They took us at gunpoint, separated us, and handcuffed us behind the back with web like military belts. One by one they started interrogating us. We heard some shots from the location they had taken some of our group and I thought for sure they killed them. I had loads of close calls, but that one stuck in my mind. You will have to read my book to find out all of the details.
- I was on the bus that got hijacked in Colombia. The guerrillas took us off the road into the countryside and separated us into men and women. I didn’t know what they were going to do, but I knew it wasn’t going to be good. Again check out my book.
- When I got my first stolen passport in Colombia I needed to have a current Colombian entry stamp on it so that I could fly out of the country legally. In order to do that, I needed to leave the country. Julio hooked me up with an ex marine Edwin, who was in charge of a hit squad for him. We crossed the Darien Gap, which many call “the world’s most dangerous passageway” with him as the guide and we entered Panama where we bribed an official there. Again you need to read the book. Many experiences.
From the Freedom of Information Act, FOIA, there are hundreds of pages of information demonstrating the amount of effort that US law enforcement put into pursuing you internationally? Why did they have such a “hard on” for you?
Law enforcement in the states of South Dakota and Wyoming had been trying to get me for drugs for years. What I was actually selling was ephedrine tablets, which were legal. When they field-tested the pills they came out blue, which meant they were dirty and they were illegal. Therefore, they arrested the people and put them in jail. When they finally got a lawyer they sent the pills to the DEA lab. With a professional test in a controlled environment the pills came out as ephedrine and not as Methedrine, so they had to release the people. They wasted multiple resources and people’s time, which didn’t please them.
This however put me on the top of the pyramid for wanted people. When my old Sunday school classmate and grade school buddy Marvin Schumacher set me up they asked him how he knew me, Dan Davis. He told them that he went to Sunday school with me and that we grew up together. This gave him credibility and he gave up his meth stash in a car in Wyoming for further creditably. He had about 2 pounds of meth, which he and his manufacturing partner had made. They did not subpoena his phone records where he had been calling chemical companies and pharmacies purchasing the chemicals to manufacture the meth, nor did they research to find out that his partner had a prior math manufacturing conviction. All the bells went off when my name came up and I was arrested and was going to get convicted of a crime that I didn’t commit. After I made bail, I left the country because I wasn’t going to do time for a crime that I did not commit. I had nothing to do with any of Marvin’s meth and after I was kidnapped and about to go to trial Marvin signed a letter where he recanted saying that I didn’t know anything about the Meth. After this the feds dropped the meth charges and I was convicted for marijuana and fleeing the country to avoid prosecution.