2009-04-02 / Front Page

Three Plead Guilty In Break-In

Appear in federal court for burglary at Keystone Country Store
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Three McConnellsburg men entered guilty pleas in federal court proceedings conducted in recent weeks for their involvement in a January burglary at the Keystone Country Store in Fort Loudon.

United States Attorney Martin C. Carlson publicly announced Monday the last of three adults indicted on various charges, including conspiracy, burglary and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, in the January 6 break-in at the Franklin County gun dealership have opted to enter a guilty plea.

Twenty-year-old McConnellsburg resident Ryan L. Horhigher ton pleaded guilty in Middle District of Pennsylvania during a scheduled appearance before Judge Christopher C. Conner on Thursday, March 26. Horton's guilty plea was to possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking and burglary of a federally licensed firearms dealer.

Fellow defendants Loren R. Stains, 18, and 19-year-old Jeremy R. Davis, both of McConnellsburg, entered guilty pleas earlier in the month in federal court to burglary of a firearms dealer. Each of the three young men are now faced with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison as well as three years of supervised release and payment of $250,000 in fines for the break-in.

The possibility also exists, attorney Carlson stated in his announcement, that Horton could be sentenced to life imprisonment for possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. An additional $250,000 could accompany the sentence and five years of supervision following his possible release.

The trio along with a male juvenile, also from McConnellsburg, were apprehended by special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives within days of the "smash-and-grab" at the Keystone Country Store located at 168 Path Valley Road, where owners reported 16 handguns and three long guns were stolen. A number of the firearms were traded for drugs by Horton, attorney Carlson maintains. Twelve of the stolen guns have since been recovered.

Assistant United States Attorney Christy H. Fawcett is serving as lead prosecutor in the case.

Return to top