Originally created 07/30/05

Drug dealer admits to weapon violation



The drug dealer who received an early release from prison after his father paid hefty fines to Columbia County pleaded guilty in federal court Friday.

Paul M. Davis Jr. admitted he illegally possessed a loaded Colt .45-caliber pistol when sheriff's officers raided his home in November 2003 to look for drugs.

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is punishable by a maximum 10-year sentence. U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. determined Mr. Davis could remain free on bond pending sentencing.

At the time of the November 2003 raid, Mr. Davis had prior criminal convictions and was still on probation. In addition to the handgun, officers found a pound of marijuana and digital scales in a safe, said Ron Rhodes, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Mr. Davis was prosecuted in Columbia County Superior Court. His earlier probation sentence was revoked in full and he was ordered to prison for 10 years by one judge. Another judge imposed a concurrent 10-year prison sentence for the new crimes committed in November 2003.

Ten months after the sentences were imposed, however, Mr. Davis was released from prison on orders of the two Superior Court Judges - Albert M. Pickett and J. Carlisle Overstreet. Mr. Davis was to be released because his father paid an additional $70,000 in fines to Columbia County, according to the judges' orders.

Freedom was short for Mr. Davis. In December, a federal indictment was issued and Mr. Davis was arrested again. He pleaded guilty to that indictment Friday. A sentencing date has not been set.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

Paul Davis Jr.

Paul Davis Jr. has followed every rule and special condition of his $50,000 bond, a probation officer told the judge Friday. Mr. Davis has passed weekly, random drug tests; maintained a 7:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew; complied with electronic monitoring; worn a name tag when away from home; and announced his federal bond status before entering a customer's home when working.