Marquette meth lab suspects to spend 10+ years in prison

MARQUETTE — Two Marquette residents who burned down their trailer that was also a suspected meth lab will each spend over 10 years in prison.

Leanna Horton ,38, and Christopher Brow, 34, were sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Marquette.  They both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute meth.

Horton was sentenced to 14 and a half years in prison, while Brow will spend 11 and a half years behind bars.

Inside of the trailer after a fire in October 2013.
Photo Courtesy: Department of Justice, Western District of Michigan. Inside of the trailer after a fire in October 2013.

The Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team started to investigate the meth conspiracy after a trailer fire in the Birch Grove Mobile Home Community in October 2013.  When firefighters arrived on scene, Horton and Brow reported they had been engaged in sexual activities and had accidentally knocked over a candle, which started the blaze.

Brow sustained second degree burns in the fire.  He was initially treated at UP Health System Marquette and later flown to the Burn Center at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.  He was hospitalized for a few weeks.  Brow has not paid the treatment and transportation costs, which exceed $127,000.

The U.P.S.E.T. investigation revealed Horton, Brow, and their associates bought several amounts of pseudoephedrine prior to the fire.  Records show Brow had also bought pseudoephedrine in early December, fewer than four weeks after his release from the hospital.

Horton and Brow were arrested in May 2014 in a trailer near Gwinn, where U.P.S.E.T. officials found another active meth lab.  The pair were on parole for previous meth-related felony convictions at the time of their arrest.