Deputies arrest three in kidnapping of local attorney

German Adalid Brojas-Benitez, Henrry Eduar Rivera-Antunez and Erik Pagoada-Bustillo

Deputies have arrested three suspects related to the May 8 kidnapping and burglary of Orange attorney Jim Sharon Bearden Jr., reported Orange County Sheriff's Office (OCSO) Captain Cliff Hargrave. 

Bearden was reportedly awakened in the early morning hours of May 8 by two masked intruders at his home on Dalton Drive just outside Bridge City in Orange County. The suspects tied him up and removed several items from his home, including cash, guns and electronics. The suspects then forced Bearden into his own vehicle, a Chevrolet Suburban that they stole from his driveway, and drove him to Port Arthur. Bearden was then forced to withdraw cash from a bank. He was then released with his vehicle, and alerted authorities about the incident. 

Detectives from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division (CID) were able to identify the two suspects that entered the house, and a third suspect who was driving a vehicle and acted as a lookout for the intruders. 

On Friday, May 12, detectives located all three suspects in Port Arthur. All three subjects confessed to the crime, Hargrave reported. Officers obtained warrants on all three for burglary of a habitation, a first-degree felony charge that trumps kidnapping charges, which is generally a third-degree felony. Kidnapping charges carry varying penalties based on the circumstances surrounding the event, but a burglary committed during the commission of another felony is always a first-degree felony. The suspects were taken to the Jefferson County Jail, but, tt the time of the news release from Capt. Hargrave, they were expected to be transferred to the Orange County Jail sometime on May 16. 

All three suspects, identified as 19-year-old German Adalid Brojas-Benitez, 17-year-old Henrry Eduar Rivera-Antunez and 17-year-old Erik Pagoada-Bustillo, are reportedly from Honduras and were determined to be undocumented immigrants. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has placed immigration detainers on them, according to Capt. Hargrave. Bearden reportedly told law enforcement he does not know any of the suspects. 

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office CID was assisted in this investigation by the Port Arthur Police Department; the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office; the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office; the Orange County District Attorney’s Office; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; U. S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.