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47-year-old John Christopher Gatton of Statesville, 30-year-old Dustin Alan Belcher of Harmony, and 28-year-old Christina Magan Wyatt of Statesville, were all arrested by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. Charges against the suspects include breaking and entering to a building, larceny after breaking and entering, breaking and entering to a motor vehicle, larceny, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Beginning on June 10 2016, Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to the area of Seedhouse Road in Statesville in reference to a breaking and entering to a residence. It was reported in that incident that the suspect(s) entered the home and stole prescription medication, a firearm, and electronics.  In the weeks that followed Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to several other residences where similar crimes were reported.
     
It was determined early on by Detectives the crimes were related based on several factors including the method of entry and items stolen. In addition the suspect was isolated to the East Iredell area because soon after the first break-in was discovered in the eastern part of the county similar crimes were discovered on the west side of the county. Witness statements resulted in the identification of a vehicle that was seen in the areas the crimes were committed.    

On Saturday July 2, Deputies were called to the area of Society Road where the home owner discovered a break-in in progress when he arrived at the residence. The homeowner reported that the suspect stole jewelry, electronics and tools.  The homeowner was able to provide a description of both the suspect and the suspect’s vehicle.

The information matched the description of John Christopher Gatton who had been identified as a suspect in another break-in that occurred prior to Society Road. Detectives had been trying to locate and question Gatton, but he was already on the run for a parole violation and had no known address. Based on the totality of all the information Detectives drew additional warrants on Gatton for breaking and entering and larceny.

An intensive search began for Gatton which included locating any known friends or associates. During this part of the investigation Detectives identified Dustin Alan Belcher as a subject who was with Gatton on one or more of the home break-ins. Belcher was located and arrested for his part in the break in’s.
     
In addition Christina Magan Wyatt was also found to be a person who participated in Gatton’s crime spree. It was determined that she assisted in one of the break in’s and took part in trading the stolen goods for drugs. She was also arrested and charged with her part in the crimes and faces additional charges for Identity Theft and Providing False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer.

On July 6 Detectives gathered information indicating that Gatton had left Iredell County and was possibly in Mt. Holly. On July 7 Detectives learned that Gatton was in an area on Windermere Road in Mt. Holly. Iredell County Detectives drove to the area of Windermere Rd, and located an address where Gatton had been staying. With the assistance of the Gaston County Police Department John Christopher Gatton was arrested without incident. At the time of his latest arrest Gatton was on Parole for Habitual Felon. Gatton is now suspected of committing over 60 felony offenses since his release from custody less than six months ago.

Gatton is currently in custody under no bond for the parole violation and $225,000 for the new offenses. He's scheduled to appear in District Court next Monday (July 25). Belcher's bond was set at $20,000 secured, his District Court date is July 26. Wyatt, who was also on parole, was jailed under no bond for the parole violation and an additional $50,000 secured bond for the new charges. She's scheduled to appear in District Court August 2.

The investigation is ongoing and there will likely be additional arrests made. Anyone with information concerning these case is asked to call the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division.

Four suspects have been arrested by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers as a result of drug investigations and a fifth suspect was being sought by authorities. All five suspects are Lincolnton residents.

36-year-old Travis Shane Bivens of Pete’s Road was arrested Friday (July 15) and charged with two felony counts each of sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance. He's also charged with one felony count of failure to appear and one misdemeanor count of failure to appear.  

48-year-old Barry Allen Osborne of North Grove Street was arrested Friday and charged with one felony count each of trafficking opiates by possession, possession with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance, sell and deliver a controlled substance, maintaining a dwelling or vehicle for a controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance.

49-year-old John Lee Warren of Lithia Inn Road was charged with one felony count each of sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance.

34-year-old Jennifer Hayes Johnson of Sun Valley Trail was arrested  July 11 and charged with one felony count of possession of schedule II controlled substance.  She was jailed under a $3,000 secured bond.

The fifth subject has been charged but detectives have been unable to locate him. 43-year-old Robert Wayne Ellis of South Industrial Park Road has three outstanding warrants for his arrest. The charges include one felony count each of sell and deliver a counterfeit controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and deliver a counterfeit controlled substance.  He also faces two misdemeanor counts each of communicating threats and probation violation.  

The charges stem from multiple investigations into drug activity where offenders possessed, sold, and distributed drugs.  
According to narcotics detectives, surveillance and undercover techniques were used to catch the offenders. Detectives say this is a continuation from a larger investigation that targets methamphetamine, heroin, and opiate street level dealers.

Bivens bond was set at $120,000 secured. Osborne received a $72,000 secured bond. Warren's bond was set at $8,000 secured. Johnson was jailed under a $3,000 secured bond. All four suspects were scheduled to appear in District Court today (Monday, July 18).

29-year-old Deveion Eugene Johnson of 14th Avenue NE in Hickory was arrested Friday (July 15) in Caldwell County on charges from Catawba County. Johnson is charged with felony counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a felon, breaking and entering, larceny of a firearm, and possession of a stolen firearm. Johnson was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. He's scheduled to appear in Superior Court next Monday (July 25). 

37-year-old Shane Lee Huffman of Campground View Road in Catawba was arrested Saturday (July 16) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of second degree kidnapping and common law robbery. Huffman was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $114,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, July 18).

Morganton Public Safety responded to a house fire Friday afternoon. The fire caused significant damage to the residence.

David Keller, of 123 Valley View Street, Morganton called 911 and reported a smell of smoke and the sound of a fire alarm in his residence just after 2 p.m. Friday (July 15). The first firefighter to respond arrived moments after the initial call and saw thick, heavy smoke coming from the basement and main level of the house. Additional Morganton Public Safety firefighters arrived and began efforts to extinguish the fire.

Mutual aid was requested from Oak Hill Fire and Rescue as well as Chesterfield Fire Department. These departments arrived within minutes of the request. Burke County EMS and the Burke County Rescue Squad also responded. EMS and Rescue Squad personnel provided emergency medical support to the fire ground personnel, who were working in hot and humid conditions.

Firefighters, Public Safety Officers, and EMS were on the scene for approximately five hours completing fire suppression, overhaul of hot spots and salvaging personal property inside the residence. The Burke County chapter of American Red Cross was contacted and arrived on scene to provide support for the homeowner.

The residence suffered significant smoke and water damage.  Damage is estimated at $80,000. The fire likely originated in the basement. The cause of fire is believed to be electrical at this time. The case is still under investigation.

The prison term of a Lenoir man was extended by eight years when he was found guilty during a bench trial in Caldwell County Superior Court last week.

The Honorable Hugh B. Lewis, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, found 29-year-old Travis Xavier Thomas guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon last Wednesday (July 13), and Thomas admitted his status as a habitual felon, enhancing the active prison sentence imposed by the judge.

Judge Lewis sentenced Thomas to serve eight to ten years in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections. The defendant is already serving consecutive sentences totaling eight to twelve years for Caldwell County convictions in February and April of this year.

Thomas had prior felony convictions in June 2005, August 2007 and May 2008 – all in Caldwell County – that led to his habitual felon status. The defendant also faced a charge of discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle but was found not guilty by Lewis during the bench trial.

The offense occurred in June 2011 and started as a verbal altercation between Thomas and Michael I. Perkins at a convenience store in Lenoir. At that time, Perkins and his father both noted that Thomas and another person with him had semiautomatic handguns. When Perkins and his son left the store in his car, Thomas and the other subject followed them to the Harpertown community.

As Perkins drove, shots were fired that struck Perkins’ car in at least two places. Investigators recovered shell casings from the roadway where the shots were fired. The victims could not say they saw who fired the gun, but both Thomas and the other subject had weapons at the store during the initial confrontation.

Sgt. Erle Davis investigated the case for the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. Andrew Jennings was the prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office.

Two suspects are wanted in connection with vehicle break-ins earlier this month in Burke County.

On July 8, the Burke County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division received several reports of Breaking and Entering of a Motor Vehicles across Burke County. Crime scenes were processed and evidence was collected, which ultimately led to the identification of 26-year-old Jesse Joe Potter and 35-year-old Rebecca Allendria McCloud as the suspects responsible for the B&E’s and theft of property.

Potter's last known address was 415 Bryant Road, Lot 11 in Drexel. McCloud's last known address was 7510 Quail Ridge Road in Hickory. No photo of McCloud was available.

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Potter and McCloud, please contact the Burke County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at 828-764-9505 or (828) 438-5500.

Friday, 15 July 2016 15:26

Two Accidents in 20 Minutes Today in Hickory

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A single vehicle accident caused long delays on Interstate 40 early this afternoon (July 15). A Nissan truck rolled over while traveling on I-40 eastbound, just before exit 123. Emergency personnel responded shortly after noon.

One occupant was trapped in the truck. First responders used struts to stabilize the truck, which came to rest on its side. The victim was extracted from the wreck and transported via Med Center Air to an unspecified hospital. Long delays were reported as a result of the accident.

A Hickory Fire Department spokesperson said she believed the victim to be male. No further information regarding the victim’s identity or current condition was released.

The N.C. State Highway Patrol is investigating. The Hickory Fire Department and Catawba Co. E.M.S. were among other agencies responding to the scene.

A second accident occurred at about 12:20 this afternoon at Catawba Valley Boulevard S.E. and 17th Street Drive S.E. Two vehicles were involved and two victims, described by the Fire Department as “patients”, were treated. It’s not known if they were taken to a hospital. As of this afternoon, no further information was available.

42-year-old Melissa Dawn Warren of Charlotte Street in Conover was arrested by Hickory Police at about 11 a.m. yesterday (July 14) on one felony count of failure to appear and a misdemeanor parole violation. The failure to appear warrant was issued in Alexander County in connection to a charge of possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Warren was taken into custody without incident at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store on 2nd Street N.E. in Hickory. Warren was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $30,000 secured bond. She has since been released. An appearance in District Court was scheduled for August 8 in Taylorsville.

Warren also has court dates in Catawba County on August 19 and September 26 for larceny of a motor vehicle, injury to personal property, breaking & entering a motor vehicle, felony larceny and misdemeanor larceny.

Kaley Callicut was arrested Friday (July 15) by Iredell County Sheriff's Deputies. She's charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, and discharge a weapon on school property. The charges are in connection with an incident that occurred last September.

On Tuesday, September 22, deputies of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shooting at Central Elementary School on Wilkesboro Road in the northern section of Iredell County. When deputies arrived they learned that the shooting occurred during a domestic violence incident involving Kaley Callicutt and her husband Michael Callicutt.

Following their investigation, detectives met with members of the District Attorney’s Office to determine what if any charges may be brought. The decision was made by the district attorney’s office to wait for the results of the forensic testing before any decisions were made. It took approximately nine months for the results of the testing to be released to authorities.

In addition, a law had come into effect shortly before the shooting occurred which stated that under certain circumstances the shooting could have been lawful. However, after all evidence was analyzed at a laboratory the district attorney decided this was not a justified use of force under the new law.

Bond for Callicut was set at $26,500 secured. No court date was listed.