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June 13, 2017Beaumont, TX, United StatesNarcotics

East Texas man sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for drug trafficking

BEAUMONT, Texas – An East Texas man was sentenced Tuesday to more than 11 years in federal prison for drug trafficking.

Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston, Eastern District of Texas, announced this sentence. This investigation was conducted by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Orange County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office, and Beaumont and Orange police departments.

Ben Doyle Vaughn III, 45, of Vidor, Texas, was sentenced June 13 to 135 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He pleaded guilty to the charge Jan. 5.

According to court information, March 3, 2016, officers with Orange County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant for a residence located on the 100 block of Clair St. in Vidor, known to be occupied by Vaughn. Before executing the search warrant, law enforcement officers arrested Vaughn for various traffic violations. Vaughn 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 locked shop located at the back of a carport. A small amount of methamphetamine was also discovered on Vaughn’s bedroom nightstand. As the search continued, two K-9s were called to the scene and alerted to another vehicle parked under the carport in front of Vaughn’s shop. One of the K-9s alerted to the area surrounding that vehicle.

Officers observed a patch of disturbed dirt underneath one of the vehicle tires. They searched the area and dug up a metal can containing two plastic bags that tested positive for methamphetamine. 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle S. Englade, Eastern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.