Sheriff's Department Makes Arrests in Theft and Drug Cases

May 19, 2008
Dwayne Page

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Department has arrested three people on drug charges and one person in a theft case since last Wednesday.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says deputies responded to an auto accident on Highway 56 last Wednesday and charged 39 year old Rita Kay Murphy of Old West Point Road, Smithville with driving under the influence after she failed field sobriety tasks. Murphy was also charged with simple possession of marijuana after a marijuana cigarette was found on the dash of her car. Bond for Murphy was set at $2,000 and she will appear in court on May 29th.

Also on Wednesday, 30 year old Charles Morgan Jr. of Rolling Hills Drive, McMinnville
was charged with theft of property. Morgan was a salesman at a car lot in Smithville and was test driving a vehicle a customer was trading in when he stole at least one check out of the customers check book. Morgan took the check to McMinnville where he forged and passed the check for $150. Morgan did admit to the offense. His bond was set at $1,000 and he will appear in court on June 5th.

Deputies responded to an unwanted visitor call on Old Mill Hill Road in Dowelltown on Friday. Upon arrival, officers noticed 46 year old Danny Ray Ponder who was intoxicated and leaning on a porch rail. Ponder did admit to taking 8 Xanax pills earlier. Deputies also found a cut straw and a syringe on Ponder's person. He was charged with public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia. Ponder's bond was set at $2,000 and he will appear in court on June 12th.

Meanwhile, 37 year old David Gerald Vanatta of Snow Street was arrested today (Monday) on a
sealed indictment from the April term of the Grand Jury as a result of the Sheriff's Department's Drug Sting. Vanatta was charged with sale of a schedule II drug (Morphine), delivery of a schedule II drug (Morphine), sale of a schedule III Drug (Hydrocodone), and delivery of a schedule III drug (Hydrocodone)..Vanatta also was arrested on two warrants for violation of probation. Vanatta is incarcerated under a $12,000.00 bond and his court date for all these offenses is set for this month.

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