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Stephen Horton sentenced to prison

CRYSTAL FALLS — The criminal proceedings involving Stephen and Dana Horton began 18 months ago when the Caspian couple was arrested on multiple methamphetamine-related charges.
    Now it finally appears that the case is winding down, at least prior to any appeals, as Stephen Horton was sentenced by Judge Donald S. Powell on Jan. 13 to 4½ to 20 years in prison for manufacturing methamphetamine at the Hortons’ Caspian home.
    Dana Horton’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 27.
    Stephen Horton had also been facing charges of conspiracy to commit a controlled substance (manufacture methamphetamine), operating or maintaining a laboratory, and purchasing or possessing pseudoephedrine to make methamphetamine.
    Those charges were dismissed in a plea agreement between Prosecuting Attorney Melissa Powell and defense attorney Abbey Anderson in which Horton agreed to plead guilty to the manufacturing charge.
    The path to get to Stephen Horton’s sentencing kept spiraling even to the very end. Horton initially sought to have the evidence in the case suppressed because the police had no “specific and articulable” reason to conduct a protective sweep of his home, meaning that the police entered his home illegally in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures.

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