By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
In his high school annual, Havard acknowledged his parents: "Thanks for encouraging me to play sports, take the hardest classes, learn to live with life's consequences, and [for pushing] me not to settle for anything less than I was capable of doing." As one of his senior "bequests," Havard bestowed on one friend "my ability to always get my way."
The comments seem almost surreal--here was a kid with an aggravated robbery charge hanging over his head, and he'd evidently learned nothing. To prove it, by summer he'd embarked on what would be the biggest and most profitable operation he'd ever undertaken: making and selling phony drivers licenses to college students itching to drink. In early September, when he moved into Room 205 in ivy-covered Perkins Hall at SMU, he'd become skilled enough to start selling them.
As always, Havard had researched his product thoroughly. He obtained templates for California and Texas drivers licenses--available on the Internet--and acquired counterfeit holograms, the shiny strips embedded in the cards supposedly to thwart counterfeiters. Havard later purchased an expensive hologram printer from a source in Europe with the aim of making his own.
Just like in high school, Havard recruited male and female SMU students to take the digital pictures, do the computer work and sand and laminate the licenses. He found plenty of willing workers. A core group formed at Perkins but stretched across the campus and into the Park Cities. "He was the kid next door," says one law enforcement source. "And there were another 60 to 70 kids next door involved with him."
The pictures were shot in Havard's room, other dorm rooms and at the Ramada Inn across from SMU. Much of the laminating and printing was done at the apartment of a former Winston student in North Dallas. Havard's average price was $180, but he might charge as much as $300. "His advertisement was you could get yours done free if you could bring him five customers," Weldon says.
Within weeks, demand outstripped supply. Doug kept an off-campus mailbox for orders and equipment. Police would later estimate Havard had sold "at least" 400 fake IDs, for a profit of $50,000. Weldon scoffs at that. "He was making 50 to 60 licenses a day," he says. "He made well over half a million dollars in a short period of time. He was putting money in Cayman accounts as fast as he could. At $9,000 in cash a day, he couldn't get it out of the country as fast as it was coming in."
But even that wasn't enough. Havard, allegedly still dealing Ecstasy, cocaine, acid and mushrooms, added GHB, a club drug often used in date rapes, to his inventory. It would prove his undoing.
Why Havard was involved in such a frenzy of illegal activity is a mystery. Perhaps he'd made the decision to disappear as early as the summer of 2001 and knew he'd need as much cash as possible.
In mid-January 2002, Havard violated Simmons' No. 1 rule by selling 140 grams of GHB to a man he didn't know. Though GHB can be purchased on the Internet or made using industrial solvents, Havard was apparently obtaining it in liquid form through a major supplier in Dallas. A week later, Havard sold the same customer one gallon of GHB--hundreds of doses.
The customer was an undercover officer with the Carrollton Police Department. Carrollton police contacted SMU police and brought in a Drug Enforcement Administration task force. While conducting surveillance of Havard's activities, they realized he was involved in far more than selling drugs.
On February 5, a year and three days after the robbery debacle, Havard was arrested at the corner of Spring Valley and Central Expressway minutes after delivering 10 gallons of GHB to an undercover cop. As soon as Havard was taken into custody, police executed a search warrant of his dorm room at Perkins. They found digital cameras, scanners, computers, several fake drivers licenses and $27,800 in cash.
In his chief associate's room, according to a police affidavit, officers found numerous fake drivers licenses in various stages of production, a blue cloth backdrop for picture production and credit-card applications in the names of other people, later discovered by a police officer to have been used to order property illegally from Circuit City. In rooms occupied by other members of Havard's crew, police found more backdrops, digital cameras, large sums of cash and electronic items stolen from Circuit City.
Havard now faced five separate charges: aggravated robbery, two charges of delivering GHB, engaging in organized criminal activity and counterfeiting.
The most serious by far are the GHB allegations; each charge carries a penalty of 25 to 99 years in prison. Though no GHB was found in Havard's room, according to a police affidavit, one of the female students he recruited to do computer work got personally involved with him and later accused him of sexual assault.
"He was selling it and using it," says one law enforcement source. "Some of the ladies that the GHB was used on were part of his group."
Havard has not been charged with sexual assault.
Over the summer, police officers armed with arrest warrants discovered that he was no longer living at the addresses he'd given authorities. On November 11, when Havard failed to show up for a court date in Collin County, authorities issued a "failure to appear" warrant. Sheriff's deputies in two counties--as well as two bail-bond companies--are now looking for him.