On Jan. 4, members of the Fulton County Sheriff's Department and four other law enforcement agencies converged on Davis' home on State Highway 9, 1½ miles south of Salem.
Armed with a search warrant, investigators found evidence that methamphetamine had been manufactured at the home, including equipment and chemicals used to make the drug and recovered meth residue.
During the search, a large amount of suspected stolen property was also found.
"This is probably the largest amount of stolen goods ever discovered in Fulton County," said Sheriff Buck Foley. "State Police investigators don't remember ever finding so many stolen items in one case."
The find includes two chain saws, a Dodge truck reported stolen in Jonesboro and tools and vehicle parts recently reported stolen in Salem.
That was just the start. In a shop on the property, investigators found more tools, electronics, saddles and many other items.
There were so many "suspected stolen" items that the Fulton County Sheriff's Department quickly filled department storage space and left much of goods at the Davis home after photographing it for evidence.
During the investigation, it was learned that Davis had stored additional items at his father's home, on Byron Road near Salem.
After obtaining consent to search that property, State Police Investigator Todd Shaw and Drug Task Force Investigator James Humphrey located a Polaris Rhino ATV, which had been reported stolen in Newport, and a Bear compound hunting bow in a black plastic case.
According to Sheriff Foley, he and Gary Clayton of the Department of Community Corrections went to interview Davis on Jan. 4 at his home, after receiving information that Davis was involved in illegal drug activity and area thefts. During the interview, Deputy Joe Beshears and Investigator Humphrey found chemicals and other items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine in a shop area behind the house. A field test of white residue found in the shop was "positive," indicating the presence of methamphetamine.
The Sheriff and investigators arrested Davis and obtained a search warrant.
During the search of the property, officers discovered a black duffel bag in back of the shop, which was full of pliers, bushes, a soda bottle, drain openers, a set of scales and other materials used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Inside the shop on the property, more tools and materials used in meth manufacture were found, along with the two chainsaws with serial numbers which matched saws reported stolen.
Inside the house, investigators found three packages of vehicle dash parts which had been reported stolen. They also confiscated pipes, lighters and other suspected drug paraphernalia.
According to an affidavit in court files, Loretta Davis told police she had purchased alergy pills at her husband's request but she had not partipated in the manufacture of methamphetamine or seen her husband manufacture it. Davis admitted, however, she was a meth user and had gotten supplies of the drug from her husband.
A representitive of Cowart Construction has identified the vehicle dash parts, four compound bows and numerous tools as items stolen in a burglary in which more than $5,000 worth of possessions were taken.
On Jan. 6, Deputy Boshears was contacted by Jay Drope, the owner of an auto body shop in Craighead County, outside of Jonesboro. Drope had been the victim of a burglary at his business, in which a large amount of tools and equipment were stolen, along with a gun and hunting bow.
The description of the hunting bow matched a bow which police confiscated at Davis' father's residence. Investiga- tors believe many other items recovered in their investigation are items which Drope lost in the burglary.
Sheriff Foley says he expects other police agencies in northern Arkansas to contact him as to whether any of the recovered merchandise is from burglaries in their area, especially Jackson County, since the ATV which was recovered was reported stolen in Newport.
Foley added it is possible others who helped Davis with thefts or supplied stolen merchandise to him may be charged. In addition, at least three additional felony counts will soon be filed against Davis.
Douglas Davis currently faces nine criminal charges: Manufacture of a Controlled Substance, Meth; Use or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; two counts of Theft by Receiving; four counts of Felon in Possession of a Fire Arm; and being a habitual offender.
"This investigation is continuing," said Foley.
Sheriff Foley was sworn in on Jan. 1 and found himself involved in the Davis investigation on Jan. 4, his second full day on the job. Foley said he did not expect an immediate, major case and it led to a hectic week as he also took care of new administrative duties. He is, however, happy to report that a very active criminal is out of circulation in Fulton County.