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Monday, 18 July 2016 11:16

Hickory Woman Faces Felony Cocaine Charge

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20-year-old Nicole Shantae Outen of 1st Street S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 5:20 p.m. Friday (June 15) on one felony possession of cocaine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Outen was taken into custody without incident at her residence. She was given a $1,000 unsecured bond, and was released on Friday. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (June 18) in Newton.

47-year-old Ralph Preston Wolfe, Jr., who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, was arrested by Hickory Police at 9:20 p.m. Friday (July 15) on one felony count of habitual misdemeanor assault. He also faces one count of misdemeanor assault and two misdemeanor probation violations.

This was Wolfe’s third arrest in connection to an incident on March 17 of this year. At that time, Police responded to a homeless camp on the 3000 block of 34th Street Drive N.E. where Wolfe allegedly assaulted a 36-year-old Hickory woman. E.M.S. was called to the scene, but both the victim and the suspect refused treatment.

Wolfe was previously arrested on March 18 and March 23. According to Police reports, he resisted arrest Friday as he was again taken into custody on the 3000 block of 34th Street Drive N.E. The suspect refused to be photographed or fingerprinted as he was processed at H.P.D. headquarters. Wolfe was confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $21,500, secured. District and Superior Court appearances were scheduled today (July 18) in Newton, with additional District Court dates coming up on August 9 and September 14.

27-year-old Christopher Michael Johnson of 8th Street Place S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 11 o’clock Friday night on one felony count of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and one misdemeanor count of assault on a government official. He was also charged with misdemeanor and felony probation violations. The warrants for his arrest were issued on June 9 and June 16.

Johnson was taken into custody without incident at his residence. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility without bond on the felony charges. Bond on the misdemeanor charges was set at $30,000, secured. He will appear in District Court on July 18 and in Superior Court on August 25, both in Newton.

31-year-old Andrew James Kemp of West 19th Street in Newton was arrested Sunday (July 17) by Newton Police Officers. He's charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Kemp was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $9,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, July 18).

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.

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