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Franklin County, Texas News

High-Speed Pursuit of Stolen Vehicle Ends in Arrests and Drug Seizure in Franklin County

Larry Michael Matta and Shelby Rhae McNeil

On the afternoon of July 1st, 2024, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office received a FLOCK camera alert indicating a stolen vehicle entering Franklin County from Winnsboro. Responding swiftly, deputies, alongside Mount Vernon PD, FCWD Lake Patrol, and DPS Troopers, located the vehicle traveling northbound on State Highway 37.

A deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the vehicle evaded, sparking a pursuit. During the pursuit, officers observed items being discarded from the fleeing vehicle. The chase continued down a county road and into a hay field, where the vehicle crashed through a metal gate and sustained significant damage while navigating rough terrain at high speed.

Ultimately disabled behind a private residence off Highway 37, the vehicle led to the apprehension of its occupants, identified as Larry Michael Matta from Denison, Texas, and Shelby Rhae McNeil from Pittsburg, Texas.

Following their arrest, a thorough search of the vehicle and surrounding areas yielded approximately 160 grams of methamphetamine, along with other suspected narcotics and illegal paraphernalia. Both suspects were subsequently charged with Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance, a 1st Degree Felony.

In addition to this charge, Matta faces allegations of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Evading Arrest with a Motor Vehicle, and Tampering with Physical Evidence, all of which are felony offenses. Both individuals were booked into the Franklin County Jail pending further investigation into the incident.

Franklin County Sheriff Ricky Jones would like to thank the officers from the MVPD, Franklin County Water District Lake Patrol, and the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol troopers who assisted in this pursuit and arrest. Sheriff Jones would also like to again highlight the effectiveness of the FLOCK camera system which first identified this stolen vehicle. "This is the third stolen vehicle that we have recovered, in as many weeks, thanks to the FLOCK system," Sheriff Jones said. "This system has already proven itself to be an invaluable investigative tool and is making Franklin County a safer place, every day."

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