Dana Horton sentenced to prison term
CRYSTAL FALLS — The final local portion of the case of a Caspian couple (now divorced) who were arrested in July 2018 on methamphetamine charges was completed in Iron County Trial Court on Feb. 3.
After having pleaded guilty earlier to one count of operating/maintaining a methamphetamine laboratory, Dana Horton, 45, was sentenced to 20 months to 10 years with the Michigan Department of Corrections by Judge Donald S. Powell. Her former husband, Stephen Horton, was sentenced to 4½ to 20 years in prison three weeks earlier for manufacturing methamphetamine at the Hortons’ Caspian home.
The scoring guidelines for sentencing in Dana Horton’s case called for a minimum of five to 23 months in jail or prison.
On the night of July 19, 2018, an Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team investigation resulted in the discovery of an active methamphetamine lab at the Hortons’ residence.
While the investigation found that Stephen Horton was the person cooking methamphetamine at the home, Dana Horton had purchased pseudoephedrine and had arranged for others to purchase pseudoephedrine for the purposes of manufacturing methamphetamine.
Defense attorney Geoffrey Lawrence explained his view of Dana Horton’s involvement in the case.
“I understand that Iron County needs protection from drug dealers and it’s been this Court’s practice and willingness to incarcerate drug dealers for lengthy periods of time,” Lawrence said to Judge Powell as he began his sentencing argument. “And I understand your reasoning behind that.
“But Dana Horton is not a drug dealer, she is a drug addict. Her criminal involvement in this case was not motivated by monetary gain, she wasn’t selling drugs for profit, she wasn’t manufacturing the drugs.”
Lawrence said his client’s participation in the case was that she knew her husband was manufacturing methamphetamine, she purchased and arranged the purchases of pseudoephedrine and she was a user of the drugs.
“Stephen Horton was the clear leader,” Lawrence continued. “He was the meth cook. Dana knew what he was doing, but she didn’t stop him.”