2017-09-13 / Police & Safety

Burton arrested for fleeing furlough, making meth

A Warfordsburg man with a history of fleeing from custody has been arrested and returned to jail by police in Pennsylvania, and now faces additional charges of running a methamphetamine lab.

Michael J. Burton Sr., 41, of Buck Valley Road, Warfordsburg was taken into custody on Thursday, September 7 after the U.S. Marshals tracked his whereabouts to an area near Altoona, Pa.

Burton had escaped from the West Virginia Division of Corrections, Charleston Correctional Center on August 12. He was reportedly on a work furlough when he removed an electronic monitoring bracelet and left the Charleston area.

Local law enforcement were alerted to be on the lookout for Burton, who had been serving a sentence in West Virginia for a 2016 conviction for driving while his license was revoked for DUI, third offense and delivery of methamphetamines. In June of 2016, Burton was sentenced in Morgan County Circuit Court to 1-3 years for the driving offense and 1-15 years for the meth charge. Those jail terms were to be served back to back.

Burton had prior convictions for driving while his license was revoked for DUI in 2004, 2007, 2011 and 2012. He had also been convicted in Morgan County of child concealment in 2010.

This is not the first time police have had to track Burton.

In September 2013, police in the tri-state area were on the lookout for him because he had absconded from home confinement in West Virginia by cutting his monitoring bracelet off and fleeing the state. At that time, he was wanted in Maryland for theft and traffic warrants, and wanted in Pennsylvania for distribution of heroin.

More charges

When police located Burton recently in the Altoona area, he was found to be in possession of materials and equipment used to make methamphetamine. Police also arrested Leia Whalen, 39, of Martinsburg with Burton.

Burton faces five felony charges associated with operating a meth lab, plus three misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance, use or possession of drug paraphernalia and recklessly endangering another person.

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Michael McCullough is the arresting officer in the case.

Burton is being held at the Blair County Jail in Hollidaysburg in lieu of a $175,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing in that case is set for September 20 before Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker.

Burton will also face charges in West Virginia for fleeing from custody.

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