Body Recovered 05/04/2015

For Immediate Release:

On Monday, May 4, 2015, around 1:17 a.m., the Orange County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Rainbow Bridge in reference to a report of a vehicle that had been left on top of the bridge unoccupied.  Upon arrival, Deputies found the vehicle engine was running with no one around.  After making contact with the registered owner of the vehicle who resides in the City of Orange, it was believed that the person operating the vehicle possibly jumped from the bridge.

The Sheriff’s Office continued the investigation by dispatching boats into the water for a search of the Neches River.  Around 12:20 p.m., Deputies located a body that was floating on the shoreline about 300 yards south of the Veterans Memorial Bridge.  The shallow water required use of the Sheriff’s Office airboat in order to recover the body.  Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 Judge Joy Dubose-Simonton arrived on scene and ordered an autopsy.  The body was transported to the Jefferson County Morgue to determine the cause of death.   It is believed that the body is that of 51 year old white female, Gwendolyn Myran, from Orange, Texas.

Posted in News Release

Narcotics Search Warrant 05/02/2015

For Immediate Release:

On Saturday, May 02nd, 2015, around 8:50 p.m., Investigators with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Special Services Division, in a joint operation with the City of Orange Narcotics and Major Crimes Unit, Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and the Beaumont Police Department K-9 Unit, performed a State Search and Arrest Warrant issued by District Judge Courtney Arkeen.  The warrant was effected at a residence located within the 100 Block of Claire Street, Vidor, Orange County, Texas.

During the search of the residence, Investigators located approximately one half pound of methamphetamine in a vehicle which belonged to a white male resident identified as Ben Doyle Vaughn III.  Detectives contacted the City of Beaumont Police Department and requested the assistance of the Beaumont Police Department’s K-9 Unit.

The K-9 Units were deployed on the property and after an intensive search, the police dogs alerted on an area in the driveway.  Investigators dug in the area that the K-9 Team alerted and uncovered an additional pound and a half of methamphetamine and a pound of marihuana that was buried in a sealed container approximately 6 inches deep in gravel and clay.

Inside the residence Detectives found two stolen firearms with an amount of United States Currency believed to be proceeds of methamphetamine sales.  Ben Doyle Vaughn III was arrested and transported to the Orange County Correctional Facility where he was charged with Possession of a controlled substance Penalty Group 1 (methamphetamine) 1st Degree Felony, Possession of marihuana greater that four ounces less than five pounds- State Jail Felony and two counts of Unlawful Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Vaughn was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Judge Dunn and his total bond was set at $130,200.  Vaughn was able to make bail on Sunday, May 3, 2015 and was released from the Orange County Correctional Facility.

This search warrant was the result of a six-month investigation into the illegal distribution of methamphetamine that had been impacting Jefferson County, Orange County, the City of Orange and the Cities of Lake Charles and Sulphur Louisiana.

The above agencies listed above were also assisted in the investigation by the City of Sulphur Police Department and the Texas Rangers-Beaumont Office.

Vaughn, Ben Doyle III

Posted in News Release

Phone Scam 04/02/2105

For Immediate Release:

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has received several reports about a phone call scam using the Orange County Sheriff’s Office name to solicit money from unsuspecting victims.  The scammer tells the person receiving the phone call that there is an active warrant for the person answering the phone.  The person is then told that in order to avoid being arrested, the person must purchase some type of gift card for a specific amount and provide the card number to the caller.  The caller may also mention that the warrant is in reference to failing to respond to a Grand Jury Subpoena.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public that this is a scam.  The Orange County Sheriff’s Office will not call anyone and ask for a payment to be made over the phone.

Currently, the only known identified phone number used by the suspect so far in this scam is 409-238-0229.   If you receive a suspicious, unsolicited phone call from anyone who identifies themselves as the Orange County Sheriff’s Office or a Deputy asking or demanding money, please call the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Orange area number at 409-883-2612, or the Vidor area number at 409-769-0291 to make a report.  Again, do not provide the caller any payment over the phone as this is a scam.

Posted in News Release

Narcotics Search Warrant 03/26/2015

For Immediate Release:

On Wednesday, March 25, 2015, around 9:00 PM, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office conducted a narcotics search warrant at a residence located at 9380 Terri Road off of FM 1136 in Mauriceville, Texas.   During the search of the residence, Narcotics Officers seized in excess of five pounds of high-grade marihuana, over 100 ecstasy tablets and numerous psilocybin (hallucinogenic) mushrooms that were packaged for sale.

A total of eight persons were arrested during the warrant for possession of marihuana and possession of a controlled substance, and one person was arrested for outstanding warrants.

The persons arrested were:

Justin Scales, W/M, 19 year old from Orange, Texas (still in custody)

-Possession of Marihuana-Class B -$500 bond

-Possession of a Controlled Substance- $15,000 bond

Tyler Richard, B/M, 19 year old from Orange, Texas (still in custody)

-Possession of Marihuana-Class B -$500 bond

-Possession of a Controlled Substance- $15,000 bond

James Truett, W/M, 46 year old from Lake Charles, Louisiana (still in custody)

-Possession of Marihuana-Class B -$500 bond

-Possession of a Controlled Substance- $15,000 bond

James Montano, W/M, 37 year old from Orange, Texas (still in custody)

-Possession of Marihuana-Class B -$500 bond

-Possession of a Controlled Substance- $15,000 bond

Jacob Alred, W/M, 19 year old from Orange, Texas (made bail, out of custody)

-Possession of Marihuana-Class B -$500 bond

-Possession of a Controlled Substance- $15,000 bond

 

Floyd Winters III, B/M, 38 year old from Orange, Texas (out of custody)

-Possession of a Marihuana-Felony 3-$15,000 bond

-Possession of a Controlled Substance-Felony 2-$15,000

-2nd count of Possession of a Controlled Substance-Felony 2-$15,000

-Total bond of $45,000, made bail and no longer in custody.

 

Robert Hicks, W/M, 42 year old from Orange, Texas (still in custody)

-Possession of Marihuana-Class B- $1,000 bond

 

Justin Williams, W/M, 34 year old from Orange, Texas (out of custody)

-Bad Check Issuance-$500 bond, made bail 3-26-15

This search warrant was the product of a month long joint investigation by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Special Services Division and the City of Orange Police Department’s Narcotics and Major Crimes unit.  Sheriff Keith Merritt will continue to dedicate all necessary resources to combat illegal drug activities in our communities.

Posted in News Release

Body Recovered 03/19/2015

For Immediate Release:

UPDATE:  3-20-2015 @ 4:00 p.m.

On Friday, March 20, 2015, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office continued the investigation into the identity of the body of a man found under the Rainbow Bridge on Thursday, March 19, 2015.  The man was believed to be the same man who was reported missing and believed to have jumped from the Veterans Memorial Bridge on March 6, 2015.  The vehicle he had been driving was left parked on top of the bridge.  An extensive search and rescue operation was conducted that day, but nothing was found at that time.  Cold water temperatures tend to keep a person submerged until the water temperature rises.

When he was found on Thursday, his body was transported to the Jefferson County Morgue for an autopsy into the cause of death.  The preliminary autopsy report indicates the cause of death was drowning.  No foul play is suspected.  The man has been identified as 25 year old David Van Nguyen of Port Arthur, Texas.  The family has been notified by authorities.

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On Thursday, March 19, 2015, around 12:40 p.m., the Orange County Sheriff’s Office received a report from a construction worker on the Rainbow Bridge who spotted what he believed to be a human body on a beach below the Rainbow Bridge.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area in the Sheriff’s Office airboat and was assisted by the Port Arthur Police Department.  The body found was that of an adult male.  It is believed to be the body of a missing person from March 6, 2015; however, positive identification has not been made.  Justice of the Peace of Precinct 3 Judge Joy Dubose-Simonton responded to the scene and ordered an autopsy.  The body was then transported to the Jefferson County Morgue.  More details will be released as they become available.

Posted in News Release

Narcotics Search Warrant 03/05/2015

 For Immediate Release:

On Thursday, March 5, 2015, around 12:20 a.m., the Orange County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search warrant at a residence in the 700 block of Coleman St., just outside the city limits of Vidor, Orange County, Texas.

During the search of the residence, Deputies located 32 grams of methamphetamine, a small amount of marijuana, a few illegally possessed prescription drugs, and an illegally modified .22 caliber rifle.  The occupant of the residence, 37 year old white male Richard David Shock of Vidor, was arrested and taken to the Orange County Jail.

Shock was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance-2nd Degree Felony, Possession of a Controlled Substance-State Jail Felony, Possession of Marijuana-Class B Misdemeanor, and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon-3rd Degree Felony.  He remains in custody after being arraigned and his bond is set at $34,500.

Drug Arrest 3-5-2015 Shock, Richard David

Posted in News Release

Narcotics Arrest 03/04/2015

For Immediate Release:

On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, around 9:20 p.m., an Orange County Sheriff’s Office Deputy was on patrol in the area of FM 1131 and Claire Road in Orange County, Texas, when he observed a white Chevy Avalanche commit several traffic violations.

The vehicle was stopped by the Deputy near Lake View Cutoff Rd and FM 1131.  During the traffic stop, the Deputy searched the vehicle and found a loaded handgun in the driver side door panel, along with methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle.  An amount of methamphetamine was also found on the driver, which totaled over 28 grams of methamphetamine.  The driver was identified as 36 year old white male Blake Owen Buxton of Orange.  Buxton was placed under arrest and transported to the Orange County Jail.

Buxton was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance-2nd Degree Felony and Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon-Class A Misdemeanor.  He was arraigned on March 5, 2015 and his bond was set at $17,200.  He made bond and was released from custody on March 5, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Buxton, Blake Owen Drug Arrest 3-4-2015

Posted in News Release

Theft in North Vidor 02/24/2015

For Immediate Release:

On February 18, 2015, a theft of an enclosed trailer occurred at Turning Point Church, 3600 North Main St. in Vidor, Texas.  The incident was captured on surveillance cameras.  Around 11:34 p.m., a dark colored truck entered the parking lot of the church with the headlights turned off.  The suspect attached the trailer and left the area.  The trailer is described as a 2008 Blazer enclosed 8 ft. utility trailer, white in color, which had a Texas license plate of 83Z XCS.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is asking for any information that may lead to the recovery of the stolen trailer and prosecution of the suspect.  Please call the Sheriff’s Office at (409) 883-2612 or (409) 769-0291.

Click on the link below to watch the video.

Turning Point Church Theft

 

Posted in News Release

Boat Rescue 02/14/2015

For Immediate Release:

On Saturday, February 14, 2015 around 3:18 p.m., the Orange County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a stranded boater.  The caller stated that he and his partner were from Minnesota and were pre-fishing the upcoming Elite Series Bass Tournament in March. They had gone off the main river channel and were trying to reach a location he saw on his Google map.  Unfortunately, their bass boat got stuck on a mud flat, which was compounded further with the outgoing tide.  It ultimately led to the fishermen being stranded.

The Sheriff’s Office Dispatcher passed on the information to Sheriff Merritt who spoke with the fishermen by phone.  It was decided that an airboat would be necessary to reach the stranded men.  Their boat was approximately 1 mile from the main river channel in an area south of IH-10.  The men were concerned about it getting late in the day and they did not want to remain stranded all night.

Sheriff Merritt located the fishermen deep into the marsh and was able to hook onto the big bass boat and pull them to the main channel.  It took about 2 hours and it was all the airboat could handle pulling such a heavy boat through the mud.

Needless to say the boaters were extremely grateful, and had a very muddy bass boat to clean afterwards.

Posted in News Release

Death Investigation 01/31/2015

For Immediate Release:

 
UPDATE:  February 3, 2015 @ 1:30 p.m.

The autopsy of Jason Murray Smith was completed this morning at the Jefferson County Morgue.  The preliminary result indicated that Mr. Smith’s death was not caused by any type of physical altercation.  While there is no confirmation on what caused the death of Mr. Smith at this time, the toxicology results will take several more weeks to return.  The investigation is ongoing while awaiting those results and more information may be released as it becomes available.

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UPDATE:  February 2, 2015 @ 3:35 p.m.

The name of the 34 year old man from Kirbyville who died is Jason Murray Smith.  The autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, February 3, 2015.  It remains unknown what caused Smith’s death and no charges have been filed at this time.  The investigation is ongoing and more information may be released as it becomes available.

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On Saturday, January 31, 2015, at 7:45 p.m., the Orange County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Baptist Hospital in Orange, Texas in reference to a death investigation.  The preliminary investigation into the death revealed that a 34 year old white male from Kirbyville, Texas and a 40 year old white male from Bridge City, Texas were at a residence in the 3500 block of Beadle Road in the Orangefield area of Orange County.  It was reported that they were involved in a physical altercation with each other when the 34 year old man lost consciousness.  The other man put him in his personal vehicle and drove him to the hospital in Orange where authorities were notified.

Investigators were on scene at the hospital and the residence to investigate the incident further and collect any evidence available.  It is unknown at this time what actually caused the death of the man and an autopsy has been ordered by Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 Judge Dunn.  The 40 year old man is cooperating with Investigators and no arrest has been made at this time.  The name of the deceased man is being withheld until notification can be made with family members.  More information may be released later as it becomes available.

Posted in News Release

Offices

Emergency: 911

Non-Emergency: (409) 883-2612

Orange Office

205 S. Border

Mauriceville Substation

11867 Highway 62 North

(409) 882-7913

Vidor Substation

375 Claiborne Street

(409) 769-6391