42-year-old David Scott Bliss, formerly of Sheridan, was sentenced on March 2, 2011 in U.S. District Court – District of Arizona on one count of Possession of an Unregistered Firearm, a Class C Felony offense.
Because he had no prior felony criminal record, and because he has successfully been taking part in a treatment and recovery program, Bliss was sentenced to five years supervised probation and ordered to pay both a fine of $5,000 and a $100 special court assessment.
Bliss, a former realtor who owns, among many properties, the Indian Paintbrush Subdivision property south of Sheridan, was arrested on December 6, 2009 in Arizona by border patrol when drug-sniffing dogs alerted that Bliss had possession of marijuana and methamphetemine. Upon searching his vehicle, a dust-covered rifle with a homemade silencer was found in the trunk of his vehicle.
Per a plea agreement with the Government, Bliss plead guilty in July, 2010. He admitted to having the gun, but its intended use with the silencer, he told the Court, was for ridding his properties of rodents, not to use it on another human.
In a letter written to the Court on March 1, 2011, Bliss' attorney, Joseph P. St. Louis of Tucson, wrote, “Mr. Bliss has been extremely active in his recovery program and treatment. He has taken over a position of leadership in his [Narcotics Anonymous] group, and does a considerable amount of work in the community surrounding the halfway house he has been living in. Mr. Bliss has never had a positive urinalysis and has been fully compliant with his pre-trial services requirements. Mr. Bliss would be an ideal candidate for probation, and he should flourish on any form of supervised release imposed by the Court.”
Bliss and his family now reside in Oregon state. Court documents indicate that he may be supervised in Oregon, but the Arizona Court will retain jurisdiction of the case. Should Bliss not successfully meet the supervised probation terms, he will be given the maximum imprisonment time of 24 months.