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Appeals court affirms 110-month sentence for Watkins man

WILLMAR -- The Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed the local district court ruling that led to a 110-month prison sentence for a Watkins man for conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

Dale Harry Dufner was one of three people arrested in March 2007 after alert pharmacists notified other pharmacists and Willmar law enforcement about the group's suspicious actions in buying qu-antities of pseudoephe-drine, a key ingredient in meth.

In an unpublished opinion issued Tuesday, the appeals court affirmed the Kandiyohi County District Court decision to deny Dufner's motion to dismiss for lack of probable cause in the case. Dufner had argued that because he was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine in Stearns County, and pleaded guilty in that case, he couldn't be charged in Kandiyohi County under state law prohibiting prosecution for the criminal actions in the same behavioral incident and against double jeopardy.

"Although both offenses in appellant's case share the general objective to manufacture methamphetamine, appellant was charged in Stearns County for manufacturing a discrete batch of methamphetamine in the past and the appellant was charged in Kandiyohi County for conspiring to manufacture an additional discrete batch of methamphetamine in the future. The offenses did not share a single criminal goal," the judges' opinion stated.

Dufner is currently in the Minnesota Corrections Facility at St. Cloud, serving his 110-month sentence concurrently with the 86-month term on the Stearns County charge for cooking meth at his rural Watkins home.

Two others arrested with Dufner, Tanya Marie Hampton, of Belgrade, and Isaac Daniel Martinson, of Cold Spring, were also charged. Hampton was sentenced to 120 days in jail, five years of probation and a $1,500 fine. Martinson was deemed mentally incompetent to proceed on criminal charges.

The charges were filed after a March 16 incident in which the trio traveled through New London, Spicer and Willmar, buying pseudoephedrine from pharmacies along the way.