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'Old meth cook' faces life in prison

Polk County Enterprise

LIVINGSTON — A Polk County jury deliberated about 15 minutes Thursday before returning a "guilty" verdict against a 62-yearold Livingston man described as an "old meth cook." Danny Lee Schanfish was found guilty of felony offense of possession or transport of chemicals with intent to manufacture a controlled substance and now faces a possible sentence ranging from five years to life in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 13 before 258th District Judge E.L. McClendon. The jury trial, which was prosecuted by Polk County District Attorney Lee Hon, stemmed from a Jan. 29, 2015 investigation by Polk County sheriff 's narcotics detectives of Schanfish's residence at 142 Loop 115 North in Livingston. In response to Polk County Crime Stopper's tips that methamphetamine was being distributed from the location, detectives Anthony Lowrie, Christian Schanmier and William Jerry went to the residence and identified the occupants as Schanfish, his son Jared Schanfish and Samantha Simons. A search of the premises revealed trace quantities of methamphetamine as well as quantities of pseudoephedrine, lithium batteries, drain cleaner, fertilizer and rock salt which Lowrie testified were all associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine. In a recorded interview with Lowrie, which was presented to the jury, Schanfish admitted to being aware that a small amount of methamphetamine was located at the property but minimized his involvement in the manufacture of the drug. Following his initial arrest, Schanfish jumped bail, failing to appear for a scheduled court setting in March 2016. He remained at large until July 2017 at which time he was discovered hiding in a closet in his residence by deputies. In his closing argument, Hon characterized Schanfish as an "old meth cook" and implored the jury to "take advantage of this opportunity to take a stand against methamphetamine distribution in Polk County." Schanfish was previously convicted in 2006 on Polk County charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance and a federal charge of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.


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