orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

April 30, 2014

Traffic stop leads to multiple drug-related arrests

ORANGE — Six people were arrested following a traffic stop late Tuesday night and a subsequent execution of a search warrant early Wednesday morning at a residence in Orange.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office arrested Timothy Murphy, Sarah Smith and Jonathan Quebedeaux following a traffic stop on State Highway 62 shortly before 10:15 p.m., Tuesday, after detectives with the Special Services Division observed a white Ford truck driving erratically on State Highway 62 near Tulane Road in Orange.

According to information from the Chief Deputy Clint Hodgkinson of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the truck was traveling north on State Highway 62 when it veered across the yellow dividing lines in the center of the highway into oncoming traffic. The truck quickly moved back into the proper lane but the driver, later identified as 34-year-old Timothy Murphy of Orange, over-corrected and crossed the white line marking the outside of the lane along the unimproved shoulder of the road.

As the detectives began pursuing the vehicle, the report states an object being “thrown from the driver’s side window” of the truck as it was coming to a stop. The item was located and determined by law enforcement personnel to be a methamphetamine pipe. Also located inside the truck was a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun.

Murphy and his two occupants - 33-year-old Sarah Smith of Orange, and 31-year-old Jonathan Quebedeaux of Vidor - were arrested and transported to the Orange County Jail.

While at the jail, law enforcement personnel found Smith to be carrying illegal drugs in her clothing and “concealed in her body parts.” She was transported to a local hospital and a “medical professional” removed the remaining illegal drugs from her body. The concealed drugs were determined to be methamphetamine.

As a result, Smith, Murphy and Quebedeaux were all charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Murphy was charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon, and Quebedeaux was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

These three people were arraigned by David Peck, Orange County Justice of the Peace in Precinct 1 on Wednesday morning. Murphy and Quebedeaux had bonds set at $30,500 each, while Smith’s bond was set at $25,000.

As a result of the arrests, detectives continued the investigation and obtained a search warrant early Wednesday morning for a residence at 5438 S. Burton Road in Orange.

Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the residence and made entry into the house shortly after 10 a.m., Wednesday, and located three people in the house. Law enforcement personnel discovered the occupants to be in possession of methamphetamine, and one to be in possession of a firearm.

Deputies arrested 31-year-old Tarah Murphy of Orange, 40-year-old Jason Penn of Orange and 19-year-old Hillary Fenton of Beaumont. All three people were charged with possession of a controlled substance, while Penn was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Tarah Murphy, Penn and Fenton are currently being held in the Orange County Jail and are still awaiting arraignment late Wednesday afternoon.

“We will continue to utilize every resource the Sheriff’s Office has available to take drugs off the streets and out of our neighborhoods,” said Orange County Sheriff Keith Merritt in a statement.

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