Orange County bust leads to six arrests

Orange County bust leads to six arrests

Orange County Sheriff's deputies arrested six people on Tuesday, April 29 and Wednesday April 30, after a traffic stop led to a search warrant of a local residence.

On April 29 at about 10:10 p.m., detectives with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Special Services Division were patrolling the area of Highway 62 near Tulane Road in Orange when they observed a white Ford pick- up truck northbound on the Hwy 62 service road near the overpass with Tulane Road.  The truck reportedly veered across the center yellow dividing lines of the northbound and southbound lanes and crossed into the oncoming lane of travel. After the truck veered back into the northbound lane, it then crossed over the white line into the unimproved shoulder area. Detectives conducted a traffic stop on the white Ford truck for the traffic violations, OCSO reports. 

As the vehicle was pulling over, detectives observed an object, which was later determined to be a methamphetamine pipe, thrown from the driver’s side window of the vehicle. Detectives searched the vehicle and located a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. The three occupants in the truck were arrested and transported to the Orange County Jail.

The driver was identified as 34-year-old Timothy Murphy of Orange. The passengers were identified as 33-year-old Sarah Smith of Orange and 31-year-old Jonathan Quebedeaux of Vidor.

During the book-in process at the jail, OCSO reports that Sarah Smith was found to be in possession of methamphetamine that was hidden under her clothing. It was then discovered that she also had an amount of illegal drugs concealed "in her body parts," according to the news release. She was transported to the hospital so that the remaining illegal drugs could be removed from her person by a medical professional. The concealed illegal drugs were determined by investigators to be methamphetamine.

All three suspects were charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, a 2nd Degree Felony, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class C Misdemeanor. Timothy Murphy had an additional charge of Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon, a Class A Misdemeanor. Jonathan Quebedeaux had an additional charge of Felon in Possession of  a Firearm, a 3rd Degree Felony.

On the morning of Wednesday, April 30, Justice of the Peace David Peck arraigned the three suspects and set Murphy’s and Quebedeaux’s bonds at $30,500 each.  Smith’s bond was set at $25,000.  All three remain in custody at the Orange County Jail.

Search Warrant

During the investigation after the arrests of the three suspects, detectives were able to obtain a search warrant for Timothy Murphy’s residence at 5438 South Burton Road in Orange. OCSO Deputies executed the warrant at about 10:07 a.m. on April 30. Three suspects were located in the residence at the time of the search warrant, and all three were allegedly found to be in possession of methamphetamine. One of the suspects, a previously convicted felon, was found to be in possession of a firearm.

The three suspects were arrested and transported to the Orange County Jail. They were identified as 40-year-old Jason Penn of Orange; 31-year-old white female, Tarah Murphy of Orange; and 19-year-old Hillary Fenton of Beaumont.  All three were booked for Possession of a Controlled Substance. Fenton and Murphy possessed a 3rd Degree Felony amount of methamphetamine and Penn possessed a 2nd Degree Felony amount of methamphetamine, according to OCSO.  Penn also had an additional charge of Felon in Possession of a Firearm, a 3rd Degree Felony.  All are currently in the Orange County Jail awaiting arraignment.

Sheriff Keith Merritt said he "will continue utilizing every resource the Sheriff’s Office has available to take drugs off the streets and out of our neighborhoods in Orange County."