43-year-old Jose Garcia-Ledesma of Charlotte was arrested in Georgia on charges from Lincoln County. He's charged with 12 felony counts of identity theft.
On Tuesday (March 5) the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division filed the charges against Garcia-Ledesma. The arrest came after an investigation into fraudulent credit card use from a local Denver trucking company where several thousand dollars’ worth of goods and services were illegally obtained.
A report was filed in October 2018 regarding the discovery of the use of several business credit cards throughout North Carolina and in other states. It was learned that a former employee of the business was responsible for the transactions. Warrants were obtained for the man in November 2018 and he was entered as wanted in NCIC.
On February 23, 2019, the wanted man was stopped by deputies in McIntosh County, Georgia for using his cell phone while driving. When a records check revealed he had outstanding warrants in Lincoln County, he was arrested and held until he could be extradited to Lincoln County. On Tuesday he was transported back to Lincoln County and charges were filed.
Garcia-Ledesma was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $65,000 secured bond. He is also being held on an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) detainer. A District Court date was scheduled today (March 6). The investigation is continuing and additional charges may be pending.
The N.C. Department of Transportation is holding a public meeting next week to gather input on a proposed project to improve traffic flow at the intersection of U.S. 21 (Sullivan Road) and U.S. 64 (Davie Avenue) in Statesville.
Currently, the intersection is signalized with a five-legged approach. Under the proposal, it would be converted to a roundabout to improve safety and efficiency along U.S. 21 and U.S. 64, and the roads leading to the intersection. The Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization submitted the project for funding.
A public meeting will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. next Tuesday, March 12, at Forest Park Presbyterian Church at 1026 Davie Avenue in Statesville. People may attend the meeting at any time, as no formal presentation will be made.
People who cannot attend the meeting may submit comments in writing, by phone or email through March 26. All comments received will be reviewed and considered for the final design.
To send comments or learn more, contact NCDOT Project Engineer Bryan Sowell at 980-552-4221. You may also submit comments in writing to P.O. Box 47, Shelby, N.C., 28151-0047.
29-year-old Trey Alexander Ingram of Berry School Avenue in Valdese was arrested Tuesday (March 5) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Ingram was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (March 6).
Hickory City Council met in regular session Tuesday (March 5). Minutes, second readings, and the consent agenda were all approved by council. A public hearing was held and City Council approved a Sidewalk Petition for a portion of 30th Avenue Drive NE.
The City’s boards and commissions presented their FY 2019-2020 work plans to City Council. Mayor Hank Guess mentioned later in the meeting that there are some vacancies on the City’s boards and commissions.
Don Baldwin of Hickory Aviation Museum appeared to speak during the public comment period. In addition, citizen Robert Russell appeared to speak and to share concerns about tall trees and kudzu in the City.
39-year-old Jason Keith Thomas Wilson of Spurgeons Road in Hickory was arrested Monday (March 4) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged on a bill of indictment with possession of a firearm by a felon. Wilson was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $7,500 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for April 15.
38-year-old Jessica Nicole Effler of Bulma Road in Marion was arrested Tuesday (March 5) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. She’s charged with felony probation violation and failure to appear on a count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Effler was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $60,000 bond. Superior Court appearances are scheduled for Thursday (March 7) and March 17.
28-year-old Sherry Renee Lyden of Hickory, will serve an active prison sentence of at least 12 years following her conviction for statutory sex offense with a child during Burke County Superior Court Tuesday (March 5).
The Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, imposed the prison term of 12 to 19 years for Lyden after she entered a guilty plea. She will serve the prison sentence in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.
The offense occurred January 1, 2018, and came to light as a result of a homicide investigation in August 2018. During that time, David Barnes was arrested and charged with the death of Roger Hoglan, and a forensic search was conducted of Barnes’ phone. The search uncovered images that showed sexual activity between Lyden and a 4-year-old female victim.
Further investigation revealed that Lyden sent the images of the sexual activity to Barnes from her phone. Murder and sexual exploitation cases against Barnes are still pending, and he is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Detective Isaac Propst led the investigation for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lippert handled prosecution for the State.
A scam that was initially used in 2017 has reportedly returned. According to the Burke County Sheriff's Office, the same scam or some version of it, has been reported to law enforcement.
The scammers targeted a house listed on the Burke County Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and used photographs and location of the home (found on the MLS website) to list the house for rent. The scammers utilized social media to advertise the fake rental home and included a contact email address and phone number.
A narrative was included stating the home is for rent because the occupants are out of the country on an extended mission trip. The fake advertisement also requested the individual to send a security deposit and first month’s rent. Upon receipt of the rent and deposit, the victim would receive a confirmation email and be directed to report to the Real Estate Office to pick up the keys.
Investigators contacted the telephone number listed in the online posting and after identifying themselves as Investigators, the person hung up. Investigators are working with the Burke County Board of Realtors and would like to remind citizens who are in the market for a rental home to always contact a real estate office to confirm that a potential rental home is for rent and not for sale. And never send currency, gift cards, money grams, etc. to unknown sources.
33-year-old Virginia Lee Decker of Fairview Drive in Lenoir was arrested yesterday (March 4) by Lenoir Police Officers. She’s charged with one felony count of possession of methamphetamine. Decker was placed in Caldwell County Detention Center following the arrest under a $25,000 secured bond. A District Court date was scheduled for March 25.
41-year-old Eric Lee Bentley of Black Oak Ridge Road in Taylorsville was arrested yesterday (March 4) by Lenoir Police Officers. He’s charged with one felony count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver. Bentley was taken to Caldwell County Detention Center following his arrest under a $15,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for March 25.
24-year-old Darnell Stanley Spears of Wayfound Church Road in Hiddenite was arrested by Hickory Police early Saturday morning (March 2) on one felony count of possession of a stolen firearm.
Spears was arrested following a traffic stop at the intersection of South Center Street and Highway 70 S.W. At that time, Officers found a firearm that was reported stolen out of Winston-Salem. The suspect was taken into custody without incident at about 2:25 a.m. Saturday.
Spears was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. He has since been released. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court yesterday (March 4) in Newton. No additional court dates are currently listed.
30-year-old James Cameron Auton of Winfield Place in Lenoir was arrested yesterday (March 4) by Lenoir Police Officers. He’s charged with one felony count of possession of methamphetamine. Auton was confined in Caldwell County Detention Center under a $5,000 bond, secured. A District Court appearance was scheduled for March 25.
30-year-old Joshua Ross Cothren of Hayesville, N.C. was arrested by Hickory Police shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday (March 3) on one felony count of breaking & entering and misdemeanor counts of larceny and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. The warrants for his arrest were issued on February 18 in Clay County where Cothren faces additional felony charges for breaking & entering and attempted larceny.
He was taken into custody without incident at Catawba Valley Medical Center on Fairgrove Church Road. Cothren was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $11,500 secured bond. He is no longer listed as an inmate in Catawba County. Cothren was scheduled appear in District Court on April 4 and in Superior Court on April 29, both in Hayesville.
49-year-old Gary Lee Paynter II of Young Street in Mooresville was arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff's Officers Friday (March 1) on felony counts of fleeing to elude arrest, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of cocaine. He was also charged with careless & reckless driving, driving while impaired, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, an open container violation, driving while license revoked, domestic assault with a deadly weapon, assault by pointing a gun and communicating threats.
Events leading to Paynter's arrest began as Officers responded to a domestic dispute on Ginger Lane, near Mooresville. While en route, Officers were told that the suspect was trying to run over his wife and other bystanders with his vehicle. Officers were also told that the suspect, Gary Lee Paynter II, had a gun and had reportedly pointed it at his wife.
Before Deputies arrived, Paynter left the scene driving a silver Ford Mustang. A short distance from Ginger Lane, an Officer passed the suspect vehicle on Shinnville Road. Deputies attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the Mustang continued traveling west on Shinnville Road, towards the Charlotte Highway. The pursuit was canceled due to weather and traffic conditions.
Deputies last saw the Mustang turning onto Oates Road. Within minutes, a Deputy spotted the Mustang in a cul-de-sac on Rainford Court in a subdivision off of Oates Road. Paynter was taken into custody without further incident. In the vehicle, Officers found a .45 caliber handgun, a quantity of cocaine, drug paraphernalia and an open container of alcohol.
Gary Paynter was transported to the Iredell Co. Detention Center where he was held without bond on the domestic violence charges. He was given a $12,500 secured bond on the other charges. A District Court date was set for March 25.
Paynter's criminal history includes disorderly conduct, injury to real property, harassing telephone calls, two counts of assault on a female, assault on a government official, malicious conduct by a prisoner, D.W.I. level 4, two counts of D.W.I. level 2 and breaking & entering.