Interview with Dan ‘Tito’ Davis

At Weird World Wire we like nothing better than people who stick it to the man and Dan Tito Davis certainly did that.

A fugitive from US law from 1994 to 2007 he is famously the only US national to be renditioned to the US from Venezuela.

After 10 years in the slammer, he is now an accomplished author, travel legend and all-round great guy. Weird World Wire deicide to catch up with him to bend his ear on stuff.

Hi Dan, great to have you hear. Word on the street is you invented the original Red Bull?

Dan ‘Tito’ Davis

What happened was when I was a student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas UNLV, I was selling a white cross pill that was an energy pill. I thought at the time it was illegal, and they told me it was methadrine. My roommate and I took it to the University’s chemistry lab as he a was premed major and when he analyzed it he told me that this was ephedrine, not methadrine, at that time it was legal so what I had was a legal substance; therefore, I could sell it without being charged with a drug crime.

I then took all the money that I had saved up which was about $26,000 and purchased a press to start producing these pills. This all took place in the early 1970s.

I then turned around and sold these pills to the Mexican Mafia, who I was buying my pills from, they had a huge distribution network.

In addition to the Mexican Mafia, I also made a deal with the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, which had another massive marketing network.

Being based in Las Vegas at the time and the city being a 24-hour town, meant there was a massive demand for these pills so that the people had more energy and could complete their shifts and party afterwards.

I imagine you were smart and didn’t flaunt your wealth?

Dan ‘Tito’ Davis

I was in my very early twenties and thought I was a rock star, so I very stupidly flaunted my wealth.

I wore the diamond rings drove the flashy expensive cars, had the planes, flew on the supersonic Concorde, sat ringside at world championship fights along with side numerous other high profile individuals. I did real estate subdivisions, drilled oil wells and had various other legitimate businesses.

Why did you end up in prison the first time?

Dan ‘Tito’ Davis

The 1st time I went to prison, it was for tax evasion.

I received a 102-month sentence, eight and a 1/2 years. I served for 5 years.

Was prison a bit like being on a Scout camping trip, and did you make lots of friends?

Dan ‘Tito’ Davis

Back in the mid-eighties, I believe there were probably around 20,000 federal prison inmates in the United States. Back then, you might say that it was a golden era of the Federal US Prison System.

In my five years in the system, I decided to make my time productive. I finished my Bachelor’s College Degree in Business via correspondence and classes offered in the institutions.

I spent a lot of time teaching the Latins English, and they were teaching me Spanish. We became very close friends as few Americans wanted anything to do with the Latins. I met numerous high ranking members of the Colombian cartel, and we became extremely good buddies.

After being rehabilitated what line of work did you get into?

Dan ‘Tito’ Davis

When I was released from prison, I had a college degree, I had my airline transport pilot license ATP and got a job flying for the airlines. That lasted a very short time before they took all of my pilot’s licenses and ratings because I had a crime of moral turpitude, which was tax evasion.

Therefore I could not fly while I was living in Las Vegas, and I decided I should get my Nevada State real estate license.

Again my felony conviction came back to haunt me, and they would not grant me a license to sell real estate in Nevada.

After being 0 for 2 on a legitimate employment ranks, I decided not to go to work at a fast-food establishment but instead made contact with my old friends Colombia Cartel members in Colombia. They set me up in the pot business with some of their Mexican contacts.

 I was now a marijuana smuggler with fantastic contacts.

Why did you end up on the run?

Dan ‘Tito’ Davis

I became an International fugitive because I was going to be convicted of a crime that I did not commit. I was framed on a meth charge when, in fact, I was in the marijuana business.

Being charged with meth is worse than being charged with heroin if you look at the federal guidelines.

I was going to receive a life sentence for a crime I did not commit. I decided that my best chances of being a fugitive for my entire life would be to live outside of the country, so I left the United States for Venezuela never to return except if I was in handcuffs or had pennies in my eyes.

Why did you leave Venezuela?

Dan ‘Tito’ Davis

I didn’t leave Venezuela as much as I was forcibly kidnapped from Venezuela. The US Government paid a mercenary force composed of Latins, many of them former federal and military to kidnap me.

According to the former head of the Venezuelan Secret police and my Venezuelan lawyers, they were paid $2 million dollars to kidnap me.

I had everything going for me down there. I loved Venezuela. I’d built a resort there, was sponsoring all of many of the local kids in various sporting competitions and was one of the pillars of the community. All that ended one day when I woke up in Miami at the federal detention center. I went from owning a 5 Star resort with a beautiful Venezuelan wife to sharing a cell with two other individuals, one urinating next to my head while I was using a soggy roll of toilet paper as a pillow trying to sleep on the concrete floor of the cold gray prison cell. I was facing spending the rest of my days in the US prison system for a crime I did not commit.

How was the prison the second time around?

Dan ‘Tito’ Davis

I had been around the world various times as an international fugitive for many, many but not ONE day as a tourist. I was travelling on stolen passports, from numerous countries, in various names with my photo professionally inserted on these passports. There are loads of stress and planning when you’re doing that.

I was out of the US Prison system for many, many years and the system had changed drastically, not for the best, there was basically no rehabilitation programs, it was severely overcrowded and controlled by numerous different gangs. That is but a few of the downfalls of the US Bureau of Prisons or BOP.

What have you been up to since you left the pen?

Dan ‘Tito’ Davis

When I was in prison, I was one of the very very few people with an Interpol and Federal wanted posters.

I was kind of a minor celebrity since I knew more about the world and various foreign countries, then most of the actual citizens since I’d had the opportunity to travel the world extensively.

I had slipped the long arm of the US Department of Justice in Mexico, Costa Rica and Belize before they kidnapped me in Venezuela, and the only when they finally verified my identity was from a fingerprint on a Pepsi Cola Can.

While in prison, there was lots of time to think and talk. Everyone wanted to hear my stories, and numerous professional writers sent me letters.

Some Hollywood Screenwriters wanted to do a movie on my life, but that wasn’t going to happen in the federal prison system. They told me to write down all of my adventures before I forgot them. I was in prison for ten years and wrote over 800 pages. When my book, GRINGO My Life On The Edge As An International Fugitive, came out, it received rave reviews

Then when my E-book was released, and it hit number one on Amazon.

If someone wanted to steal a bunch of money and totally disappear how would you do it?

Dan ‘Tito’ Davis

First, I would go do my homework to see what level of a crime it would be. A misdemeanour or felony. Different guidelines depending upon what country or what state. Also, who are you getting the funds from? Would they press charges? For Example, Many hedge funds don’t want the adverse publicity.

After I do my research, I would go talk to an expert lawyer in fiscal fraud. Don’t do the crime unless you can do time.

Lastly, I would get ALL of my ID’s together and use some of them before I would need them.

OK, well, great talking to you. Last question would you like to shamelessly plug your audiobook etc?

Dan ‘Tito’ Davis

Gringo: My Life on the Edge as an International Fugitive  which is available as a e-book or paperback on amazon!

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