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Tuesday, 14 April 2015 11:42

One Man Busted for Drugs; Another as Fugitive

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36-year-old Thalmus Jaton Linder of Stadium Drive in Newton and 48-year-old Joseph Tyrone Dillard of 17th Street Drive N.W. in Hickory were both arrested by Hickory Police Monday (April 13). Linder was charged with felony possession of cocaine, possession of a schedule I controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Dillard was arrested on a felony warrant as fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. Dillard was also charged with felony speeding to elude arrest and misdemeanor careless & reckless driving.

They were arrested after Police initiated a traffic stop on 4th Street S.W. The 2003 Pontiac Grand Am, driven by Dillard, initially failed to stop, resulting in a brief pursuit. Linder was found to be in possession of 1.1 grams of crack cocaine and 0.6 grams of MDMA (or, Ecstasy). The vehicle was impounded.

Both subjects were taken into custody without further incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Linder was set at $22,000, secured, while Dillard was given a $29,000 secured bond. Both men will appear in District Court tomorrow (April 15).

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 11:37

Catawba Man Indicted on Crack Cocaine Charge

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38-year-old Prenston Lamar Burch of Old Catawba Road in Catawba was served a felony indictment by Hickory Police at about 12:45 yesterday afternoon (April 13) on one count of possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine.

The indictment stems from an arrest on November 5 of last year when Police responded to a drug complaint at an apartment on 20th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory. An Officer knocked on the apartment door, which was opened by Burch. The Officer immediately smelled the strong odor of marijuana. Burch said the smell came from a friend who had dropped by and smoked some marijuana before leaving the apartment.

Burch refused to allow the Officer inside. Police then secured the apartment and applied for a search warrant. Upon execution of the warrant, Officers found drug paraphernalia, a bottle with residue, 6.2 grams of crack cocaine and 10.2 grams of marijuana. No one else was charged.

Following his arrest yesterday, Burch was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court on April 17 in Newton.

25-year-old Jeremy Neal McDougal of Wheatfield Court in Lincolnton was arrested Monday (April 13) by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with one count each of felony Larceny of a Firearm and Possession of Stolen Goods.

According to a news release from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, McDougal was assisting another man with repair to a residence in the 200 block of Old Barn Road in Iron Station when the theft allegedly occurred. The resident reported to deputies on February 4 that she just noticed someone had stolen a small Sentry fire safe containing cash and collectible coins. She also reported that six of 12 long guns in a gun safe had also been stolen.

As the investigation continued Detective Kelly Paris discovered that McDougal had pawned some collectible coins at the Boger City Pawn Shop on East Main Street in Lincolnton on November 21, 2014. During an interview with Detective Paris Monday the suspect confessed to taking the firearms and coins. He was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, April 13).

Detective Paris will also seek indictments for Obtaining Property under False Pretenses.

29-year-old Funchee Matthew Moua of Freedom Drive in Albemarle was arrested today (Tuesday, April 14) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, and conspiracy to traffic meth. Following the arrest, Moua was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $100,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for Friday (April 17).

35-year-old Rocky Dwain Fowler Jr. of South Caldwell Mobile Home Park in Hudson was arrested Monday (April 13) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with conspire to sell or deliver schedule II controlled substance. Following the arrest, Fowler was detained at the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, April 14).

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 05:33

Claremont Man Charged With Meth Possession

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40-year-old Mica Nathaniel Falls of White Oak Court in Claremont was arrested this morning (Tuesday, April 14) by Claremont Police Officers. He’s charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Following the arrest, Falls was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $20,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today.

44-year-old Michelle Renee Rivenbark of Estate Drive in Statesville was arrested by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with larceny by employee.

On Monday April 6, Deputies received a call of stolen property from a home on McCarran Trail. Deputies responded and spoke with the home owners and learned that they were missing numerous items from inside the residence that they knew was in home on Friday April 3. The Victim reported to the Deputies that they have a lady who cleans their home by the name of Michelle Rivenbark and she was inside the home on Saturday April 4. The victim reported that some of the items stolen were prescription medication, Kennedy half dollars, knives, socket sets, and other items with a value of nearly $1,200.

Detectives began an investigation and spoke to Michelle Renee Rivenbark who admitted that she was inside the home of the victims on Saturday and did steal the items from inside the home while both home owners were present. All of the stolen property was recovered and returned to the owner with the exception of the prescription medication.

Detectives charged Rivenbark because she has been working for the victims and was working the day she stole the items from the house. Rivenbark was given a $2,500 dollar secured bond. She's scheduled to appear in District Court April 21.

35-year-old Daniel Wayne Burnette and 44-year-old Dawn Pruitt Burnette, both of Kent Street in Maiden, were both arrested April 7 by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers. Daniel Burnette is charged with felony possession of a firearm by a felon and Dawn Burnette is charged with felony aiding and abetting. A cooperative effort between Lincoln and Randolph County Sheriff’s detectives led to the arrest of the two suspects.

On April 7, detectives were asked to contact a Randolph County Sheriff’s detective about a man in Lincoln County who was attempting to sell two semi-automatic Browning shotguns on a social media website. The detective checked the background of the individual trying to sell the weapons and discovered he was a convicted felon.

The investigator set up a buy for the weapons at the Lowes store on Highway 73 in Denver on the night of April 7. The man selling the weapons was driving a 2004 Dodge Dakota pickup truck. Detective Frank Runyon and two marked patrol units responded to the scene and approached the vehicle. The two firearms valued at $2,000 were seized from the vehicle.

Daniel Burnette was released on $25,000 secured bond. He’s scheduled to appear in District Court April 27. Dawn Burnette was released on $5,000 secured bond. She’s also scheduled to appear in District Court April 27.

Daniel Wayne Burnette entered a guilty plea on September 5, 2006 in Lincoln County Superior Court to felony Possession of Cocaine and was given a six to eight months suspended sentence and placed on probation for 36 months.

The Honorable Hugh B. Lewis, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, sentenced Benjamin Hill of Hickory to serve 5-7 years in prison for his role in the robbery of the Q Express in Hickory.

Hill, who is 39-years-old, was sentenced last Friday (April 10) in Catawba County Superior Court after pleading guilty to robbery with a dangerous weapon. He was placed in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.

The robbery took place on May 16, 2014, when Hill entered the convenience store wearing a toboggan, black hoody, black pants and ski gloves. He was carrying a handgun and told the clerk he was there for money. The defendant grabbed the clerk by the arm and pulled her away from the counter. He grabbed an envelope containing money and ran out of the store.

Hill was observed running out of the store and crossing the street by a Hickory Police officer who was responding to the hold-up alarm at the store, and the suspect subsequently was detained. The clerk later positively identified Hill as the person who robbed the store and as the husband of a former employee who worked at the store for a couple of months in 2013 before she was fired for stealing money.

Hill’s cellular telephone was seized and there were several calls from his wife, Crystal Marie Hill. A further search turned up text messages relating to a robbery at a place she used to work. Those messages were sent and received within days of Benjamin Hill committing the robbery at his wife’s former place of employment.

30-year-old Crystal Hill is awaiting trial for conspiracy to commit armed robbery of a business/person. Her trial date is June 8, 2015, in Catawba County Superior Court.

Kim Craig led the investigation for Hickory Police Department. Sean McGinnis prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office with assistance from Michael Van Buren.

Monday, 13 April 2015 17:12

Victim in Fatal Crash Friday Indentified

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A man killed in a head-on collision in Hickory Friday afternoon (April 10) has been identified as 37-year-old Christopher Craig Guess of Statesville. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol confirmed the man’s identity this afternoon.

The accident happened shortly after 1 p.m. Friday on Kool Park Road. According to Highway Patrol reports, a Lincoln Navigator driven by Mr. Guess was traveling south when it crossed the center line and collided with a 1995 Mack truck, heading north. The driver of the Mack truck attempted to swerve to avoid the collision, but was unable to prevent the crash. Both vehicles came to rest in a ditch.

The driver of the Mack truck was not injured. There were no passengers in either vehicle. No charges have been filed.