BEAUMONT, Texas — Police in Vidor on Wednesday announced the arrest of two Orange County women on federal drug charges.

Cathy Ardis, 61, and Michelle Lea Harrington were both arrested after being indicted on federal charges of drug dealing according to a news release from the Vidor Police Department.

Four people died as a result of the drugs that were distributed in the case according to the release.

Shelly Caney says the drugs took the life of her son, Zackary Marshall. 

"It's total hell, I keep thinking, what should I have done different? But there's nothing, there's nothing," Caney said. "We all miss him indescribably much."

He's one of the four victims who died as a result of overdosing on drugs purchased from the Orange County home investigators say the two women were using. It's located in the 6500 block of North FM 105.

Ardis was arrested on February 8, 2020, after Vidor officers and Drug Reinforcement Administration agents served search and arrest warrants at a home in the 6500 block of North FM 105 in Orange County the release said.

Harrington, who owns the home where Ardis was taken into custody, was arrested on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the home according to the release.

"I know that my son was responsible for going there but they were just putting the bullet in his hand," Caney said. "I'd like to think that if maybe they weren't there maybe he would have a chance, I don't know."

Ardis was indicted on four charges of "possession with the intent to distribute and distribution of controlled Substance resulting in death and aiding and abetting" the release said.

Cathy Ardis - Michelle Lea Harrington
Cathy Ardis, left, Michelle Lea Harrington
Orange County Sheriff's Office

She was also charged with three similar charges that did not result in a death.

Both Ardis and Harrington were also charged with distribution of hydromorphone the release said.

Hydromorphone, an opioid, is prescribed as Dilaudid and can be two to eight times more potent than morphine according to the DEA website.

Vidor Police Chief Rod Carroll says the drugs often fuel other crimes.  

"These individuals are not just involved in the drug dealing but the components that goes from the drug dealing addiction, the theft, the robberies and other crimes," Carroll said. 

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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

From a Vidor Police Department news release...

On Saturday, February 8, 2020, the Vidor Police Department and DEA executed a search warrant and arrest warrant in the 6500 N. FM 105, Orange County, Texas. 

Taken into custody at this time was Cathy Ardis, Age 61, of Orange County, Texas for Possession with the Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Controlled Substance. 

On Tuesday, February 3, 2020 the Federal Grand Jury met and returned the following indicts:

Cathy Ardis:

  1. Possession with the Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Controlled Substance Resulting in Death and Aiding and Abetting (April 26, 2019)
  2. Possession with the Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Controlled Substance Resulting in Death and Aiding and Abetting (July 28, 2019)
  3. Possession with the Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Controlled Substance Resulting in Death and Aiding and Abetting (August 1, 2019)
  4. Possession with the Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Controlled Substance and Aiding and Abetting (August 29, 2019)
  5. Possession with the Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Controlled Substance and Aiding and Abetting (September 11, 2019)
  6. Possession with the Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Controlled Substance Resulting in Death and Aiding and Abetting (February 6, 2020)

Cathy Ardis and Michelle Lea Harrington:

  1. Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance (Hydromorphone) and Aiding and Abetting
  2. Maintaining Drug Involved Premises and Aiding and Abetting.

Michelle Lea Harrington is the resident / owner of the property in the 6500 block of N. FM 105 in which the distribution was taking place. 

Ms. Harrington was taken into custody on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The Vidor Police Department would like to thank the Drug Enforcement Administration and US Attorney Joseph Brown and his staff for their commitment to prosecuting these offenses.

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