38-year-old Kenneth Wayne Ryckeley of Maiden was sentenced to serve at least 11 years in prison after he was found guilty by a Catawba County jury of possession of a firearm by a felon and carrying a concealed weapon on Tuesday (September 12).
Ryckeley also admitted his status as an habitual felon, which enhanced the prison term imposed by the Honorable Gregory R. Hayes, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County. Hayes sentenced Ryckeley to serve 11 to 14 years in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.
The defendant has prior felony convictions for felony larceny in Lincoln County (January 2006), obtaining property by false pretense in Gaston County (April 2009) and possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine in Iredell County (August 2013).
Ryckeley was driving a van on the N.C. Highway 16 Bypass on Jan. 15, 2015, in excess of the posted speed limit and was stopped just before reaching the Lincoln County line by Catawba County Sheriff’s Inv. Dennis Smith. During the stop, Smith asked if the defendant had any drugs or weapons in the vehicle. Ryckeley admitted to having a .22-caliber handgun in the vehicle. When Smith searched the vehicle, he located the revolver in a compartment next to the passenger seat where the defendant told him it would be. The gun was wrapped in a pair of men’s camouflage gloves.
Dennis Smith was the lead investigator for the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant District Attorney Melanie Earles prosecuted the case for the State.