41-year-old Cruz Antonio Lopez was arrested Wednesday (August 17) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony indecent liberties with a child. Following the arrest, Lopez was placed in jail in Morganton under $50,000 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for September 12.
32-year-old Christopher Davis Coffey of Dug Hill Road in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (August 16) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of a firearm by a felon. Coffey was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, August 18).
Two Bessemer City residents were arrested Tuesday afternoon (August 16) after a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office detective observed a suspicious vehicle on George Brown Road.
Sheriff’s Detective Matt Burgess was in the area of George Brown Road when he saw a black Yukon driving slowly back and forth on the roadway. Detective Burgess conducted a traffic stop for suspicious behavior of the vehicle bearing Georgia license plates. The two adults in the vehicle were checked through NCIC where warrants were located out of the state of Georgia.
57-year-old Christie Ray Griffis and 37-year-old Lori Marie Carey both of Coho Road in Bessemer City were arrested on felony Fugitive from Justice warrants out of Pierce County, Georgia. Both suspects were placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center without bond pending an extradition hearing. Griffis is wanted in Georgia for Felony Theft while Carey is charged with felony Aiding Another to Escape Custody.
There were two children in the vehicle who were both turned over to the Lincoln County Department of Social Services.
The Lincolnton Police Department reports the arrest of two suspects on sex offense charges in separate sting operations.
Last Sunday (August 14) detectives arrested 52-year-old Steven Joseph Porga of Cornelius. On Wednesday (August 17) detectives arrested 60-year-old Samuel Leroy Overholser of Newton. Both suspects are charged with solicit a minor for an unlawful sex act by a computer and appearing to meet the minor.
Both arrests were the result of two week investigations into the suspects. The suspects, and undercover detectives, posing as a minor child, exchanged dialogue and discussions on various social media outlets related to the suspects meeting the minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity. A date, time, and location were determined and the suspects arrived at the predetermined locations. Upon arriving to those locations, the suspects were arrested without incident.
Bond for both suspects was set at $75,000 secured. Porga appeared in District Court Monday (August 15), Overholser appeared in District Court Wednesday.
We have more information on the Officer-involved shooting Tuesday morning (August 16) at Walmart on Blowing Rock Boulevard in Lenoir. 32-year-old Carl Marcus Nivins of Lenoir, who had reportedly fired at Lenoir Police Officers, was killed in the incident. 24-year-old Natasha Rae Stanley of Morganton and 32-year-old Jose Alberto Flores of Rhodhiss were arrested on outstanding warrants from Burke County on unrelated charges.
Investigation into the incident has determined that the firearm used by Nivins, a .38 caliber Taurus revolver, was reported stolen from Burke County on August 13. Officers involved in this incident remain on paid administrative leave, per department policy. A Critical Incident Stress Debriefing for all involved personnel has been scheduled for later this week. It is anticipated that all employees will return to unrestricted duty soon thereafter.
No additional charges have been filed against Stanley or Flores, although more are expected in the coming days.
61-year-old Larocca Ned Taylor of Miller Bridge Road in Connelly Springs was arrested by Hickory Police at 4:20 yesterday (August 16) on one felony count for a change of mileage violation and one misdemeanor count of failure to deliver a title. According to North Carolina statute, the felony charge is intended to provide remedies for persons injured by motor vehicle odometer alteration.
The warrants for Taylor’s arrest were issued in June of this year. The complainant listed on the Hickory Police arrest report is the Catawba Co. Clerk of Court.
Taylor was arrested on a true bill of indictment at H.P.D. headquarters and released less than an hour later under a $15,000 unsecured bond. He was scheduled to make an appearance in District Court today in Newton.
The Lincolnton Police Department is investigating three robberies, two of which occurred yesterday (Tuesday, August 16). The crimes appear to be connected.
In the early morning hours Tuesday, shortly after midnight, patrol officers from the Lincolnton Police Department responded to an apartment on Colonial Village Drive in Lincolnton for a robbery call. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the victim who said that he had been robbed by a black male and a white female at gunpoint. Various items including U.S. currency were taken as a result of the robbery. The victim was not hurt in the incident.
Tuesday at approximately 10:00 p.m., officers responded to an attempted robbery call to another apartment located on Colonial Village Drive. Upon arrival, officers spoke with a victim who advised that a black male and white female attempted to forcibly gain entry to his apartment. The suspects were unable to gain entry to the apartment. The victim was not hurt in the incident.
The Lincolnton Police Department is also investigating a robbery that occurred at an apartment on Colonial Village Drive on August 5, at approximately 10 p.m. In that robbery, the suspects were also listed as a black male and a white female. During this robbery, the victim sustained minor injuries. Various items including U.S. currency were also taken as a result of the robbery.
In all three cases, the victims that were targeted were Hispanics. Additionally, all three cases list similar suspect information. The black male is said to be in his late 40’s to early 50’s. He is clean shaven, bald or with a close trimmed haircut, with some graying in his hair. He's believed to be 5’10” to 6’ with a stocky build. The white female is said to be in her mid 40’s with a medium build, shoulder length dirty blonde hair and tanned skin.
The suspects have been armed with a firearm, they may be driving a 2000’s model Chevrolet Impala. They may frequent businesses in the north side of Lincolnton in the areas of North Aspen Street or Maiden Highway, Vandiver Drive, and North General’s Blvd.
These cases appear to be related.
If anyone has any information about this case or any other case, please contact the Lincolnton Police Department at (704) 736-8900 or contact the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Crimestoppers at (704) 736-8909. Any calls made to Crimestoppers can be made anonymously and the caller can receive up to a $1,000 reward if the information given leads to an arrest.
A Newton man was sentenced to serve at least five years in prison after pleading no contest to drug trafficking charges during Burke County Superior Court on Monday (August 15).
36-year-old Shane Eddie Greer was given an active prison sentence of five to seven years in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections by the Honorable W. Robert Bell, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County.
Greer entered a plea of no contest to charges of trafficking in opiates by possession and trafficking in opiates by transportation. In addition to the prison term, Judge Bell also imposed a mandatory $50,000 fine that Greer has to pay.
Investigators with Long View Police Department received word late in April 2015 from a confidential source that Greer would be selling pills and marijuana at a business in eastern Burke County. Sgt. Justin Roberts waited at that business and initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Greer based on knowledge that the defendant’s license was revoked.
After receiving consent to search, Roberts located 71 Hydrocodone pills in the dash compartment. Greer admitted they were his, and he planned to sell them to employees at the business. A search of his cell phone also turned up text messages relating to pill sales.
Roberts handled the investigation for Long View Police Department, and Frank Webster prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.
Hickory City Council met in regular session Tuesday night (August 16).
Planning Director Brian Frazier discussed a voluntary contiguous annexation of 1730 30th Avenue Court NE. A public hearing followed, there were no speakers. Council voted unanimously to approve the annexation. Public Services Director Chuck Hansen discussed a curb & gutter petition for the 3300 block of 48th Ave Ln NE. A public hearing followed during which there were no speakers once again. Council unanimously approved the petition.
Planning Director Frazier presented a departmental report regarding the Southside Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant of $200,000. The grant is focused on an area that includes parts of Green Park, Ridgeview, and West Hickory neighborhoods. Over 200 individuals have already been contacted for community input regarding the project. More community engagement is being sought by the city. Workshops will be held at the Ridgeview Recreation Center August 23-25.
Multiple appointments were made to boards and commissions. Council then adjourned into closed session, no action was reported from that session.
A fundraiser will be held at Shell’s Bar-B-Q this Saturday (August 20) to benefit the family of a local man who was seriously injured in an automobile accident on June 7 in Hickory.
43-year-old Randy Brendle of Conover was injured in a three-vehicle collision at the intersection of Tate Boulevard and the McDonald Parkway. One of the other drivers was also injured, but the driver at fault (who was reportedly speeding) was not hurt.
Mr. Brendle, who was not fully healed from a previous major surgical procedure at the time of the crash, has had approximately 20 surgeries since that time. He has had a skin graft in an attempt to close his abdomen and still faces months of rehab and additional surgeries to reconnect tissue and organs in his abdomen.
He has been in the intensive care unit at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem since the accident. The family is dealing with mounting expenses as Mr. Brendle’s wife, Regina, has been spending as much time as possible at the hospital. The couple has a 12-year-old son.
The fundraiser at Shell’s will take place Saturday from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. The restaurant is located at 2609 Springs Road N.E. in Hickory. Anyone wishing to help can also donate at www.gofundme.com/2a2eyrnm.
Minelli Group S.p.A., an international leader in developing and producing specialty wood products, will locate their first U.S. manufacturing operation in Hickory. The company has purchased an 18,000 square foot building at 1245 26th Street S.E. in Hickory. They will invest more than $2-million in new equipment and will create 12 new jobs immediately.
The new location, called Minelli USA, will allow the company to transfer existing U.S. business from Italy to the Hickory plant and to grow their product offerings in the United States.
Established in Bergamo, Italy by Francesco Minelli and his three sons, the Minelli Group has manufactured solid wood parts for over 75 years. The company is a global supplier of wooden shotgun and rifle stocks for major U.S. firearms brands. They operate four production plants across Europe making products used in tools, packaging, eyewear, stationary, homeware, wellness and toys. The Minelli Group serves more than 200 customers in 20 countries.
The first phase of hiring will begin in early September. The N.C. Works Career Center-Catawba will assist the Minelli Group with their employee recruitment efforts. They’re looking for talent in office administration, woodworking and finishing. Jobseekers should have a technical aptitude and an eagerness to learn operation of the company’s advanced sanding and spraying robotics.
To apply for employment, contact the Catawba County office of the N.C. Works Career Center at 828-466-5535. The office is located at 403 Conover Station S.E. in Conover.
23-year-old Lee Marcus Wilson of 14th Street S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (August 17) on one felony count of possession of a stolen firearm and one misdemeanor count each of carrying a concealed gun, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while license revoked.
He was arrested after Police stopped a silver BMW driven by Wilson on the 2300 block of Springs Road N.E. in Hickory for an expired license tag. Officers identified the driver and found that he had an expired driver’s license.
A search of Wilson’s person turned up a digital scale with marijuana residue. In the vehicle’s center console, Officers found a Ruger P89 semi-automatic handgun. The gun had been reported as stolen from Caldwell County.
Wilson was taken into custody without incident at about 20 minutes past midnight. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.
32-year-old Angela Michelle Sullivan of Spencer Road NE in Conover was arrested Tuesday (August 16) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with trafficking opium or heroin, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule I controlled substance, and sale and delivery of schedule I controlled substance. Sullivan was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $70,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Wednesday, August 17).
A moving company employee has been charged with stealing jewelry from a family moving to Denver, North Carolina from Georgia.
According to information released Tuesday (August 16) by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, 40-year-old Michael Paul Rife of Comanche Road in Huntersville was arrested by Huntersville Police and turned over to Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers last Thursday (August 11). He's charged with felony larceny.
The family victimized in this case had hired a moving company through U-Haul to help unload a truck that was used to move their belongings to a residence on Silver Jade Trail in Denver. The company provided two workers to do the task on June 11, 2016. The supervisor of the crew discovered one of the men removed jewelry during the job and turned it over to the Huntersville Police Department. The jewelry was identified by the woman’s name inscribed in a class ring.
Detective Greg Hager of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office began following up on the information provided by Huntersville Police and discovered the suspect in the case was Michael Paul Rife. Witnesses were interviewed and Detective Hager obtained a warrant for Felony Larceny last Wednesday (August 10). The arrest was made the next day and according to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, during an interview with Detective Hager, Rife admitted to taking the jewelry.
Rife was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. He's scheduled to appear in District Court August 30.