News (1826)

38-year-old Holly Suzanne Hartley and 43-year-old Victor Lance Auton, both of the same Mac Drive, Hudson address, were arrested Thursday (June 8) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. They're each charged with possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. Hartley and Auton were both detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $15,000 secured bond. They were scheduled to make District Court appearances Thursday.

55-year-old Lawrence Dean Buckles of 32nd Street Drive NE in Conover was arrested Thursday (June 8) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with three felony counts apiece of trafficking opium or heroin and sell or deliver schedule II controlled substance. Buckles was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $200,000 bond. A District Court date was set for today (June 9).

37-year-old Jonita Travis Cornwell of Louise Avenue in Lincolnton was arrested Thursday (June 8) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with three felony counts each of sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance. She was also charged with two felony counts of maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances.

Cornwell is accused of selling methamphetamine in various locations near the Crouse and southern areas of Lincoln County. Detectives say the investigation consisted of undercover and surveillance techniques used to purchase the drugs on multiple occasions. The probe took place over a three to four month span and the buys were considered to be street level deals for user amounts of methamphetamine.
According to a news release, Detectives say the woman was selling or supplying methamphetamine to people who she thought were addicts for profit. According to detectives, this is the first in a wave of arrests coming in the next few weeks for street level dealers selling drugs throughout the county.

Cornwell was placed in jail under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (June 9).

At the request of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, the State Bureau of Investigation is looking into an officer-involved shooting in Caldwell County that resulted in the death of 75-year-old Donald Marcus Smith, Sr. of Kane Circle in Hudson.  The incident took place just before 10 p.m. yesterday (June 7).

Events unfolded as Caldwell County Communications received a 9-1-1 call from Mr. Smith, who made suicidal statements to dispatchers and said he had a handgun.  Caldwell County Deputies responded and parked away from Smith’s home.  At the residence, Deputies identified themselves and spoke to Smith for several minutes in an effort to de-escalate the situation.

Smith then raised his right hand and fired a single gunshot.  Upon seeing Smith raise his gun, one Deputy fired two rounds from his patrol rifle.

After the scene was secured, Officers found that Smith had an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and two wounds to the torso.  A small-caliber handgun was retrieved from Smith’s right hand.  Mr. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Sheriff’s Office called the S.B.I. immediately to request an investigation into the incident.  S.B.I. Agents are currently interviewing witnesses.  An autopsy is scheduled at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

49-year-old James Arthur Kendrick of Hickory was given an active prison term of six-to-eight years after he pleaded guilty to trafficking opium by possession.  The Honorable W. Todd Pomeroy, Superior Court Judge from Lincoln County, issued the sentence during Catawba County Superior Court yesterday (June 7).  In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Pomeroy also imposed a mandatory fine of $50,000.  The defendant will serve his term in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

A confidential informant purchased marijuana from Kendrick on February 5 of 2014.  A day later, officers with the Hickory Police Department Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at Kendrick’s Hickory residence.  During the search, numerous varieties of pills were seized, along with drug paraphernalia, cash and a handgun.  Kendrick also was caught attempting to discard marijuana.

The case was investigated by the Hickory Police Department’s Narcotics Unit.  Sean Baetjer handled the prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.

35-year-old Patrick David Hollar of Granite Falls, was given an active prison sentence of four to six years after pleading guilty to multiple drug offenses during Caldwell County Superior Court on Tuesday (June 6).

Hollar entered the guilty plea to manufacturing methamphetamine, attempted trafficking in methamphetamine by possession and possession of heroin. The Honorable Linwood O. Foust, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, issued Hollar’s prison term, which will be served in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

A concerned citizen in Caldwell County passed along information in November 2015 that the defendant was manufacturing methamphetamine at his Granite Falls residence. Investigators with the Caldwell County ICE Unit were aware of the defendant from past investigations of him.

After obtaining permission to search the residence, agents from the ICE Unit, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and officers from the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office located a “shake and bake” methamphetamine lab. They recovered items consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine, and they also found heroin. Hollar admitted to investigators that he made the methamphetamine for his personal use and traded some of it to procure items to make more.

Narcotics Det. Sgt. David Barbour investigated the case with assistance from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant District Attorney Andrew Jennings handled prosecution for the State.

Thursday, 08 June 2017 11:13

Two Arrested on Drug Charges in Iredell County

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40-year-old Angela Kelso McCollum of the Taylorsville Highway and 43-year-old Scottie Eugene Hopkins of Suzanne Lane, both from Statesville, have been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers.  They were each charged with conspiracy to sell & deliver a schedule III controlled substance.  McCollum was also charged with felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

They were arrested in connection to an investigation conducted by the Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit into the sale of methamphetamine in the western part of Iredell County.

The two were under investigation when Hopkins was arrested on unrelated charges.  While in the Iredell Co. Detention Center, Hopkins was mailed a letter by Angela McCollum.  Investigators intercepted the letter and examined the letter and the envelope.  Enclosed in the envelope were small pieces of a Suboxone strip that had been hidden inside.

McCollum was arrested and jailed under a $15,000 secured bond.  Hopkins was served with the conspiracy warrant.  He was given a $10,000 secured bond on that charge.

McCollum has a criminal history that includes larceny and worthless checks.  Hopkins has a long criminal history, including numerous drug charges, as well as assault, B&E and larceny charges, among others.

26-year-old Shawn Donnell Whren, Jr. of Statesville has been arrested by Statesville Police on charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and first-degree burglary.  

He was wanted in connection to an incident that occurred Sunday night (June 4) in Alexander County, previously reported on WHKY on June 5.  Alexander Co. Sheriff’s Officers responded to a stabbing at a residence on Highway 90 East in Stony Point where they found 66-year-old Steven Anderson of Stony Point suffering from multiple stab wounds.  

Investigators learned that the suspect broke into the victim’s residence where he confronted the victim and demanded money.  The suspect then stabbed Mr. Anderson.  The suspect left the residence with an undisclosed amount of money.  Investigators say the victim and the suspect were acquaintances.

At about nine o’clock last night (June 7), Statesville Police found Whren walking on Old Salisbury Road, near Hunt Street.  After a brief foot pursuit, Whren was arrested and taken before a Magistrate.

He was placed in the Iredell County Jail under a $250,000 secured bond.  He was then taken to the Alexander County Detention Center.  No court date in Alexander County is currently listed.

Alexander Co. Sheriff Chris Bowman expressed his appreciation to the Statesville Police Department for their assistance in the case.

A total of 16 defendants including several Hickory Metro area residents were handed prison terms ranging from 21 months to 18 years for trafficking methamphetamine. The announcement was made Wednesday (June 7) by Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. The sentencing of the defendants took place in Statesville.

38-year-old James Edward Russell, III of Hudson, was sentenced to 188 months, followed by five years of supervised release. 41-year-old Teddy Dwane McGee of Hickory, was sentenced to 120 months, followed by five years of supervised release. 39-year-old Larry Chad Roberts of Taylorsville, was sentenced to 120 months, followed by five years of supervised release. 35-year-old Davey Yang of Conover, was sentenced to 110 months, followed by five years of supervised release. 48-year-old Troy Lynn Bell of Taylorsville, was sentenced to 108 months, followed by four years of supervised release.

39-year-old Wendy Michelle Pennington of Hickory, was sentenced to 46 months, followed by five years of supervised release. 38-year-old Ritchie Allen Shook of Granite Falls, was sentenced to 37 months, followed by five years of supervised release. 28-year-old Shana Elyse Teague of Taylorsville, was sentenced to 21 months, followed by one year of supervised release. 45-year-old Jerry Wayne Grant of Mooresville, was sentenced to 216 months, followed by five years of supervised release.

There were additional defendants from outside the Hickory Metro also sentenced to prison time. According to court records, the defendants were involved in organizations that have trafficked methamphetamine worth millions of dollars. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized more than 20 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, $500,000 in U.S. currency and other assets, and dozens of firearms. The defendants were charged as part of an ongoing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), which, since 2015, has resulted in the prosecution of more than 165 individuals.

The Newton Water Treatment Plant has been honored for the 14th consecutive year with a prestigious award for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards.

The Area-Wide Optimization Program Award was accepted by Newton Public Works and Utilities Director Dusty Wentz and his staff at the Newton City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 6. Newton was one of only five water treatment facilities in the state recognized with the Gold Star Honor for receiving the award for 10 or more consecutive years. There are 149 water treatment facilities in North Carolina.

Designed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Area-Wide Optimization Program enhances public health protection by encouraging superior performance and operations at water treatment facilities across the country. Facilities that adopt the program aim to reach sustainable water quality standards far more stringent than those required by government regulators.

Awards are given each year to water systems that demonstrate outstanding turbidity removal, a key test of drinking water quality. Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness or haziness of water caused by individual particles that can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Microbes are microscopic particles that occur naturally but can include harmful bacteria and viruses.

While all drinking water systems must meet strict state and federal drinking water standards, systems receiving the award met performance goals that are significantly more stringent. The Newton Water Treatment Plant opened in 1988. The plant has a capacity of 8 million gallons per day. Newton’s source of raw water is the Jacob Fork River, which originates in South Mountain State Park.

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