Traffic Stop Leads To Drug Charges For 2 Payson Men

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Steven A. Horn, 42, and Steven E. Shiflett, 50, both of Payson were arrested late Tuesday night by the Gila County Narcotics Task Force.

Horn, an unemployed real estate agent and Shiflett, an unemployed fast food manager, were both charged with possession of a dangerous drug, possession of a dangerous drug for sale, transportation of a dangerous drug for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The arrests culminated a three-month investigation by the Task Force.

"We had been receiving information that Horn and Shiflett were trafficking dangerous drugs," an undercover agent said. "On March 12, we learned that they were traveling to Phoenix to purchase an unknown quantity of methamphetamine."

The task force contacted Horn and Shiflett at 10:30 p.m. after the vehicle they were riding in was stopped by a Gila County deputy six miles south of Payson for weaving.

An agent said that Horn and Shiflett were interviewed during the traffic stop and had inconsistent statements.

"They both pretty much lied to us, leading us to believe our information was probably accurate," the agent said.

The agents recovered an ounce of meth from Shiflett when the Payson police dog, Kodiak, arrived to assist.

Kodiak is trained to alert his handler, Les Barr, to a possible drug find by biting the location.

"I told both of them that if they had any dope on them, they had better give it up," an agent said.

The agent said Shiflett pulled the methamphetamine out of his right pocket and produced five rocks of crack cocaine out of his left pocket.

A search of Horn's 1999 Dodge Intrepid produced a briefcase containing hundreds of tiny plastic bags commonly used to package methamphetamine, two sets of weight measuring scales, and a cellular phone.

"Both Shiflett and Horn admitted knowledge of the drugs and that it was their purpose to travel to Phoenix and purchase it," an agent said. "However, they pointed the finger at each other as to whose drug connection it was and who had actually purchased the drugs."

The agents said the meth appeared to be pure and would have a street value of more than $3,000 once it was diluted with another substance such as Epsom salt. Shiflett and Horn are being held in the Gila County jail in lieu of a $25,000 bond.

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