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8/16/2013 6:03:00 AM
Couple gets time for heroin crimes
Katie Ann Hansen-Shaffer
Katie Ann Hansen-Shaffer
Shawn Shaffer
Shawn Shaffer

KINGMAN - The cycle of drug abuse - and the sorrow that often accompanies it - was on display in a Mohave County courtroom on Wednesday when Judge Derek Carlisle sentenced to prison a pair of heroin dealers who sold drugs to pay for their own addictions.

Shawn Derrick Shaffer, 29, and his wife, 21-year-old Katie Ann Hansen-Shaffer, will spend the next two and a half years in an Arizona prison after pleading guilty to attempted possession of narcotics for sale.

The lesser charge was offered the pair in a plea deal and the Shaffers pleaded guilty a couple of months ago. The deal allowed them to avoid trial and escape much stiffer prison terms.

Undercover officers with the multi-agency Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team had the Shaffers under surveillance in Bullhead City for quite some time before they arrested them on May 8.

Shawn Shaffer was arrested in his car in possession of two grams of heroin. Katie Hansen-Shaffer was arrested at a motel room the couple was living - and where five more grams of heroin was located.

Defense attorneys told Carlisle their clients sold drugs to pay for their own drug habits.

Shawn Shaffer apologized to his parents and his in-laws, who were in the courtroom.

He said he's been reading the Bible since he was arrested and wants to obtain an education.

"I want to change my life," he said.

Shaffer also attempted to take responsibility for the heroin.

"My wife doesn't deserve this," he said. "I got us here and I feel like crap."

According to his stepfather, the life Shaffer has led might have been learned at a young age.

Larry Kendricks broke down and cried when he asked Carlisle to give his stepson a two-year rather than three-year term.

"My son, my stepson, has suffered with ADHD for his lifetime. They told us he might struggle with his education and drug addiction. We were worried this would come about. Shawn grew up in a house that had drug abuse," said Kendricks.

"I turned my life around," he told Carlisle. "Twelve years I've been clean. He wants to learn from my mistakes."

Prosecutors sought a three-year term and the defendants wanted two years. Carlisle met them in the middle.

The judge said he was disturbed by signs that heroin is "making a strong comeback" in Mohave County for whatever reason, and that he considers it almost as destructive as methamphetamine - but only because meth is more readily available and therefore more people are under its influence and involved in the illicit drug business.

In sentencing the pair, Carlisle didn't buy the argument they merely sold drugs to pay for their own heroin habits, but he did note MAGNET officers had to dress in protective hazardous materials clothing when they entered the motel room, where no fewer than 55 syringes were recovered.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: gotta love

Only in Kingman can you get busted with heroin, be a drug user and sale the stuff and only get 2 1/2 years prison time! The judicial system here sucks! Keep these types of people in jail longer, let them rehabilitate, let them learn their lesson, before releasing them back on our streets! I guarantee you 2 1/2 years isn't long enough, they will be right back out and right back on the stuff!

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: drug dealers are selfish murderers

as of 2004 Afganistan produced roughly 87% of the world supply in illicit raw opium. However, production in Mexico has risen six times from 2007 to 2011, changing that percentage and placing Mexico as the second largest opium producer in the world. So yes, Mexico has become a huge part of the problem. Focus on and punish the trafficers and dealers. Without them there can be no drug deal. These people want new customers and hurt and drag people down to their level. I actually consider these two lucky because they didnt cause a death while committing a felony. A drug dealer in my teenage childs death is now in prison for murder and because of that our town is slightly safer. Dont feel sorry for these two, but for their families.

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: no way

It's Obama's fault.

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: love the locals

Yup thats right Parker blame it on Mexico. Where does the poppy that heroin is from originate??? Afganistan. Wow don't we have an Army over there right now?? and yet we won't do anything about it.

Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2013
Article comment by: mr. parker

The DEA has been trying to scare doctors into not prescribing oxycodone or its long acting brother Oxycontin.

There is a problem with abuse of it. But now it's easier and less expensive for addicts to switch to the old standby, heroin.

Since 'chiva' is now produced and manufactured in Mexico, it's easy for it to get through our very insecure borders. With all the human trafficking that the obama regime has decided to stop prosecuting, it's very easy for illegals to pay their way by transporting heroin to the cartels middlemen.

That's why you're seeing an increase of heroin here and throughout the US.

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