Man allegedly plants gun, drugs in wife’s car in custody ploy

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Daniel Roy Dunham, 42, of West Des Moines was arrested Thursday on charges of controlled substance violation, stalking-dangerous weapon and two counts of child endangerment.

A West Des Moines man was arrested Thursday on a Dallas County warrant in connection with an August incident in which he allegedly planted drugs and a loaded gun in his wife’s vehicle and then reported her to law enforcement in a scheme to wrest from her custody of their children.

Daniel Roy Dunham, 42, of 1087 Glen Oaks Dr., West Des Moines, was charged with controlled substance violation, stalking-dangerous weapon and two counts of child endangerment.

An investigation by the Clive Police Department concluded that on Aug. 30, 2020, Dunham allegedly “placed a loaded Taurus 9 mm handgun and 7 grams of cocaine into” the victim’s vehicle, “where his two 5-year-old children had an ability of gaining access to the firearm and drug, making a substantial risk of harm for the two children,” according to court records.

Dunham allegedly planted the gun and drugs in the victim’s vehicle “without her knowledge” and “with the intent to have her arrested for possession of these illegal items. After planting these items, the defendant in concert with another unknown individuals, made calls to law enforcement, reporting that the victim was in possession of a firearm,” according to court records.

According to witnesses, Dunham allegedly said that he “wanted to see the victim arrested so that he (could) gain custody of his children.”

The investigation also determined that “after the slashing of the victim’s vehicle tires” on Nov. 10, 2020, “a GPS tracking device” was “attached to the victim’s vehicle,” and Dunham allegedly was “the registered owner of GPS device,” according to court records.

The victim said Dunham’s actions caused her “to feel terrorized, frightened and believed that the defendant may physically harm her.”

A warrant for Dunham’s arrest was ordered Jan. 25 in Dallas County District Court and served Jan. 28.┬áDunham is held in the Dallas County Jail on a $10,000 cash or surety bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Feb. 8 in Dallas County District Court.

*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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