SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Texas man has been sentenced in federal court for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and for illegally possessing firearms.
Tanner Houghton, 41, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark on Tuesday, June 14, to 25 years in federal prison without parole.
On Oct. 14, 2021, Houghton pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
Co-defendant Brittany Brannan, 35, also from Texas, has pleaded guilty to her role in the drug-trafficking conspiracy and awaits sentencing.
Houghton and Brannan were arrested on Dec. 27, 2020, after attempting to flee from law enforcement officers.
A Stone County, Mo., sheriff’s detective was conducting surveillance at a Branson West, Mo., hotel and saw Houghton and Brannan leave the hotel and drive to a convenience store in Reeds Spring, Mo. A sheriff’s deputy activated his emergency lights and attempted to stop Houghton, who was driving a 2001 Dodge Dakota, but Houghton rapidly sped away through a circle driveway. The driveway, however, was blocked by the detective’s vehicle. Houghton put his car in reverse and struck the deputy’s patrol vehicle. The officers drew their weapons and ordered Houghton and Brannon to get out of their vehicle.
When officers searched Houghton’s vehicle, they found a loaded Smith and Wesson .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol and a box of ammunition below the center console. They also found a loaded Amarillo Armory multi-caliber semi-automatic rifle, numerous loaded magazines, and numerous boxes of ammunition inside a duffle bag in the back seat. Officers found another duffle bag in the front passenger floorboard that contained approximately 292 grams of pure methamphetamine, 39.8 grams of heroin, and 128 fentanyl tablets.
According to court documents, Houghton had absconded from parole in Texas with Brannan. They were part of a large drug-trafficking organization, purchasing at least two pounds of methamphetamine twice a month for six months to a year, as well as varying amounts of fentanyl.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica R. Eatmon. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Stone County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Branson West, Mo., Police Department.