Man busted selling meth at the Budget Inn

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – A man was arrested on drug and weapons charges after falling asleep and missing his checkout time at the Budget Inn at 1215 W. Thatcher Blvd. on Wednesday, Nov. 22.

Daniel Dominguez, 31, of Solomon, was booked into the Graham County Jail on charges of possession of a dangerous drug (methamphetamine), possession of a dangerous drug for sale (methamphetamine), theft of a firearm, and two counts of misconduct involving weapons.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Valley Central:
Officers often stake out the Budget Inn due to the propensity of local drug activity there. This time, the owner called officers after an occupant failed to check out and couldn’t be wakened.

Dominguez was discovered by the owner of the motel, who entered the room because the occupants were supposed to check out by 11 a.m. and had not done so. Upon entering, the owner located Dominguez asleep on the bed and was unable to wake him.

Authorities were dispatched to the motel at about 12:07 p.m. and were allowed entry by the owner. They immediately located a loaded Ruger .380 handgun that was later confirmed to be stolen out of Safford.

After the officers were able to rouse Dominguez from his slumber, they asked about the gun and Dominguez allegedly claimed ownership and said he got it from a friend in Tucson. He admitted being a prohibited possessor, however, due to not having his rights restored after committing a felony. Dominguez spent more than 3.5 years in prison after being convicted of possession of a dangerous drug for sale (methamphetamine) in 2011. He also has multiple other felony convictions.

Dominguez was then placed under arrest and a butterfly knife was taken from his right pocket. 

A cursory search of the room yielded two meth bongs (water pipes) in the bathroom. Dominguez denied knowledge of the bongs and said the only items that belonged to him were a gray hygiene kit and a purple duffel bag.

Officers located a gray medicine bag that contained multiple sex toys, miscellaneous feminine products, a digital scale, and a green eyeglass case that had 29.7 grams of meth inside. Additionally, officers located a key and a lockbox that had another baggie with 6.9 grams of meth, and two holsters, one that fit the Ruger and one that was holding ammunition, were located in Dominguez’s car on the motel property. Dominguez denied any knowledge of the meth in the eyeglass case or lockbox, but, after initially denying he had done so, allegedly admitted to smoking meth the day before.

After the officers finished their interview with Dominguez, he was escorted to the jail and booked on the above-listed charges.