SHELBY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office arrested four people on multiple felony charges Tuesday after a homeowner found that they had allegedly broken into his home, and he and his son held them at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived.
Later, it was discovered that the four suspects had used the home owner's washing machine to do their laundry while they were there.
Tia Lenee Meshell, 26, of Center, Steve Lawrence Smith, 25, of San Augustine, Savannah Lee Sowell, 32, of Bronson, and Margie Nicole Stahl, 27, of Logansport, Louisiana, were all arrested and charged with fist-degree felony manufacture and/or delivery of a controlled substance, second-degree felony burglary of a habitation, and Class A misdemeanor engaging in organized criminal activity. Each person's collective bail was set at $11,000.
Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell said in a press release that on Tuesday, a SCSO deputy responded to a home on County Road 1015 in reference to a homeowner who had caught people in the act of burglarizing his house.
When the deputy got to the scene, he found that the homeowner and his son had been holding the four suspects at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived. The four suspects told the SCSO deputy that they had been given permission to wash clothes at the home.
During the investigation, the deputy asked the suspects about items in their vehicle, and one of them allegedly said there was marijuana in the car. The SCSO deputy found the marijuana, along with rolling papers, the press release stated.
"A search of the vehicle was conducted in which a metal case was located that contained drug paraphernalia and a small green plastic bag containing a white crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine," the press release stated. "Another pouch was located inside a backpack which held two clear plastic bags and five small green plastic bags. The bags contained the substance believed to be methamphetamine and all were packaged for sell."
After the deputy and the homeowner entered the house, they discovered fresh pry marks on a door leading into the home. They also learned that the suspects had entered the home and used the washing machine to wash clothes.
According to the press release, a small pry bar was found in one suspect's pocket.
A SCSO patrol sergeant field-tested the suspected methamphetamine and confirmed that it was indeed meth. The drugs weighed a total of 12 grams.
Two other SCSO deputies and two Center Police officers assisted with the arrests of the four suspects.
Blackwell said his office has several narcotics investigations going on at this time. If anyone has any information about suspected illegal activities, they are urged to contact the Shelby County Sheriff's Office at (936) 598-5600.