Vidor man found guilty of drug trafficking

Ben Doyle Vaughn III

A 45-year-old Vidor, Texas man has been sentenced to prison for federal drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston announced June 13.

Ben Doyle Vaughn, III, pleaded guilty on Jan. 5, 2017, to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.

According to information presented in court, on Mar. 3, 2016, officers with Orange County (Texas) Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant for a residence located in the 130 block of Clair St. in Vidor, Texas that was known to be occupied by Vaughn. Prior to executing the search warrant, law enforcement officers observed a vehicle they knew to be driven by Vaughn traveling at a high rate of speed and committing other traffic violations.

The vehicle was pulled over and Vaughn was found to be the driver of that vehicle. Vaughn was arrested for the traffic violations, gave the officers permission to drive his truck back to his house and also gave the officers consent to search his vehicle. A search of the residence revealed methamphetamine paraphernalia and marijuana inside a shop located at the back of a carport that Vaughn claimed to be his and provided the keys to unlock it. A small amount of methamphetamine was also discovered in Vaughn’s bedroom on his nightstand in the house.

As the search continued, two K-9s were called to the scene and alerted on a vehicle, known to be driven by Vaughn, parked under the carport in front of Vaughn’s shop. One of the K-9’s alerted to the area surrounding that vehicle. As the officers moved the vehicle to search under and around the vehicle, officers observed a patch of disturbed dirt underneath one of the vehicle tires. This area was searched and officers dug up a metal can containing two plastic bags containing what was believed to be methamphetamine inside.

Another quantity of methamphetamine was located in a bag and attached to the underside of the truck Vaughn was driving when he was brought back to the house for the search.

This case was investigated by DHS/ICE/HSI, Beaumont Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Orange Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle S. Englade.

- U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Texas

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