Mount ClemensJune 20, 2013
Twins, grandma sentenced for drug-related offenses
By Nico Rubello
C & G Staff Writer
Mario Henton, pictured, and his twin brother Marco Henton, 20, received identical prison sentences on June 18 in Macomb County Circuit Court. They have previously testified that they have been dealing heroin since age 12.
MOUNT CLEMENS — Twin brothers who became infamous for dealing heroin across the road from Chippewa Valley High School were recently sentenced to at least two years in prison.
On June 18, Judge James Biernat Jr. dealt out identical sentences of between two and 40 years in prison to twins Marco and Mario Henton and sentenced their grandmother, Diane Henton, with whom they lived, to two years of probation for allowing them to deal drugs out of her residence.
The judge called the brothers “a nightmare” to parents in Macomb County, but added that they only became the poster boys for selling heroin in Macomb County because they happened to live near the high school.
“There’s a heroin epidemic in Macomb County,” Biernat said. “There’s a lot of people in Macomb County who deal drugs and they don’t live within a school district and they’re selling to kids.”
Both twins apologized for their actions.
The twins were recommended for the Michigan Department of Corrections boot camp program, which could permit them to be released if the Department of Corrections accepts them and they complete the rigorous 90-day training program. If they fail out of corrections boot camp, they will head back to prison.
Defense attorney Gary Jones, who represented both Henton brothers at the sentencing, said the twins, who both have a 10th-grade education and who were unemployed, would learn some discipline from the boot camp program. Jones said there was a low recidivism rate from those who complete the boot camp.
The brothers were credited for 15 months they have already served.
This past February, both twins pleaded guilty to four drug-related charges against them, including possessing fewer than 50 grams of a controlled substance on school property.
Police executed a search warrant in December 2011 at the twins’ grandmother’s residence on 19 Mile, across from Chippewa Valley High School in Clinton Township.
The three Hentons were released on bail when, in March 2012, authorities again executed a search warrant at their new residence on Mound Road and Metropolitan Parkway in Sterling Heights. All three were arrested and charged again.
The twins reportedly told police that they were selling heroin in Macomb County to make it easier for suburbanites to purchase it. While initial reports indicated that they might have sold to high school students, there was never any evidence of that.
“If you sold heroin and lived maybe just 50 yards passed where you lived, you would not be charged (with selling drugs) in a school zone,” Biernat said.
Current sentencing guidelines dictate that a charge of delivering less than 50 grams of heroin was merely probation or, at most, 11 months in jail.
“People on the street think that is crazy,” he said. “The state legislature has to get their act together and address this problem because people who are delivering heroin, less than 50 grams, are walking.”
In May, a jury found Diane Henton, 68, guilty of one count of maintaining a drug house. She was acquitted of a similar account pertaining to the Clinton Township apartment.
Biernat sentenced Diane Henton to two years probation, with the stipulation that she avoids contact with known felons. He promised to send her to prison for a year if her grandsons live with her upon their release.
“You don’t have any record,” the judge told her. “I don’t think you’re a bad person. But you love your grandsons, who happen to be two idiots. I don’t put it past them to put you in jail for a year.”