St. Paul man admits mailing hallucinogen-soaked letters to state prison inmates

Federal prosecutors say a St. Paul man has pleaded guilty to criminal charges alleging he smuggled narcotics into several Minnesota state prisons.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office in Minneapolis, Walter “Disney” Davis, 40, went to trial in U.S. District Court on June 15 and two days later pleaded guilty to all counts.

Authorities said the investigation began in March 2021 after narcotics were introduced into multiple Minnesota Department of Corrections prisons, including Stillwater, Oak Park Heights, Faribault and Rush City.

Investigators identified Davis as the suspect, and on April 21, 2021, he attempted to mail six letters to six DOC inmates. The letters included news articles printed on high-quality Strathmore-brand cotton-fiber art paper soaked in MDMB-4en-PINACA, a synthetic cannabinoid substance that produces hallucinogenic effects when consumed.

Investigators intercepted the letters and obtained search warrants for two residences frequented by Davis.

At his home in Eagan, investigators seized two bags of fentanyl, $3,000 in cash, digital scales and a .38-caliber handgun. The second location, an apartment in Maplewood, yielded more than 400 grams of fentanyl, digital scales, a spray bottle containing MDMB-4en-PINACA, a package of Strathmore paper and a loaded .357-caliber handgun.

Davis pleaded guilty to one count of attempted distribution of a controlled substance analog, one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and two counts of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled later.

The DOC and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation.

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