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Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:50

Catawba County's Operation Seven Eleven Nets Nine Arrests; Two at Large

The Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division has been conducting an ongoing investigation, known as “Operation Seven/Eleven,” for the past several months focusing on the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine in the county.

Investigators targeted several suspects who specifically manufacture meth using the “one pot” method, which has become an epidemic locally and nationally. The suspects typically buy or steal precursor items needed to manufacture meth from local businesses in and around the county.

In 2012, Catawba County ranked third in the state for meth labs located and dismantled. The county ranked fourth in the state in 2013. The arrest and successful prosecution of the suspects rounded up during Operation Seven/Eleven is intended to decrease the number of meth labs in 2014 by serving as an example of law enforcement’s zero-tolerance policy toward meth cooks.

Narcotics Officers identified 11 suspects who were involved in making meth or who assisted the cooks by providing precursor items. Investigators presented their cases to the Grand Jury on July 21, leading to 59 separate charges.

Last Wednesday (July 23), Deputies and Narcotics Investigators successfully located nine of the 11 suspects. Two suspects may have left the state to avoid prosecution, but are actively being sought. All other suspects are in custody.

Still at large are Joseph Edward Morin and his mother, Georgia Lynn Starks, both from Newton. They were charged with five counts each of manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth and possession of meth precursors. Both suspects have been entered into the National Crime Information Center database as wanted persons. Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts should call the Catawba Co. Communications Center at 828-464-3112.

24-year-old Ashley Nicole Reynolds from Claremont faces 13 separate charges including manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth, trafficking meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Reynolds was given a $50,000 secured bond.

25-year-old Julia Marie Flowers from Catawba was arrested on seven separate charges including manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth, trafficking meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Flowers remains in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $121,000 secured bond.

18-year-old Jacob Rayce Carr from Newton faces six separate charges including manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth, trafficking in meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Carr has been confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $325,000, secured.

35-year-old Wesley Michael Sain from Hickory was charged with manufacturing meth, trafficking meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Sain remains in custody under a $75,000 secured bond.

28-year-old Cody Lee Weiss from Newton has been arrested on 13 separate charges including manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth, trafficking in meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Weiss was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $575,000 secured bond.

26-year-old Kevin Matthew Cook of Catawba was charged with conspiracy to manufacture meth and trafficking in meth by possession & manufacture. Cook was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $150,000, secured.

48-year-old William Jonathan McNeil of Newton has been arrested on one count of conspiracy to manufacture meth. He also faces charges for manufacturing meth, possession or distribution of meth precursors and misdemeanor larceny. McNeil has been confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility. He was given a $160,000 secured bond.

29-year-old Brandon Kyle Hensley from Maiden has been arrested on one count of manufacturing meth. Hensley is currently in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond.

And, 26-year-old Samantha Lynn Metz from Maiden has been arrested on one count of manufacturing meth. Metz remains in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured.

Most of the suspects arrested are scheduled to appear in Superior Court on October 6 in Newton. In addition to their October 6 appearances, Sain has a District Court date on August 20 and McNeill is due in District Court on December 15. Cook’s Superior Court date was set for September 2. The only listed court dates for Hensley and Metz were appearances today (July 30) in District Court.

Read 1155 times Last modified on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:09