News (724)

28-year-old Evadel Mabel Fuller of Hickory pleaded guilty to breaking & entering, robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. The Honorable Gregory R. Hayes, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, handed down an active prison sentence of four-to-six years during Catawba County Superior Court Wednesday (September 9).

Fuller was sentenced for her part in a June 14, 2015 home invasion that included two co-defendants. She also agreed to testify against her co-defendants. Fuller’s brother, Melvyn Fuller II, and Randtavious Montrece Leonard also were involved in the invasion at the home of Donald Ray Newsome on Old Farm Drive in Hickory.

Evadel Fuller contacted Newsome, with whom she had a previous relationship, and asked if she could spend time with him on the morning of the invasion. He agreed and left the back door unlocked, at her request. While she diverted his attention, her cohorts made their way into the home behind her, threatening Newsome’s life with a .410-gauge shotgun and later assaulting him. While at the residence, they took multiple items, including numerous hydrocodone pills.

The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation that was aided by video surveillance at Newsome’s home that showed the defendants entering and leaving the residence.

Tyler Whisenant led the investigation and Lance Sigmon prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a report of a shot being fired near a school bus stop.

Just before 7 a.m. today the Sheriff’s Office was notified of an alleged gunshot at or near a bus stop on East Maiden Road. A parent contacted 9-1-1 to report the suspected gunshot. A middle school child reported he saw a white male stick a long gun out the window of a truck and fire a shot. The suspect was driving a red and white truck, its make is unknown. The vehicle was traveling east on East Maiden Road.

The Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that there does not appear to be an immediate threat at any school. They are continuing to investigate the report and Tuttle Elementary has been put on a high level of alert. Security has been increased at all schools and in the Maiden area.

The Sheriff’s Office says they will continue to be on a high level of alert for any suspicious situations on or near schools and bus routes. They encourage the public to contact law enforcement if they observe any questionable situations.

A Burke County teenager will spend at least the next two years in prison after entering a guilty plea to weapon and break-in counts. 19-year-old Austin Michael Neece entered guilty pleas to felony counts of possess, sell, or buy a gun with an altered serial number, breaking and entering with larceny, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and larceny.

On Friday, June 12, 2015, Officers with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office received information that Austin Michael Neece was at his residence and that he may be in possession of a firearm. Neece was wanted for several pending Indictments and other outstanding warrants. Detectives approached the rear of the residence through the woods and waited for uniform deputies to approach from the front. When the uniformed deputies approached Neece, he tried to remove a handgun from his waistband, but he was quickly taken into custody prior to fully removing the weapon. The serial number of the handgun had been removed making it illegal. Also during the arrest, a small baggy was found in his wallet that tested positive for methamphetamine.

Neece was sentenced to a minimum of 24 months and a maximum of 56 months in prison. In addition, he was sentenced to 36 months of probation which takes effect after the prison sentence is complete.

36-year-old Anthony Wayne Hopkins of West Piedmont Circle in Conover was arrested Thursday (September 10) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with felony manufacture methamphetamine. Hopkins was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (September 14).

The nine-eleven commemoration marking 14 years since the terrorist attacks on the United States will take place in downtown Hickory this afternoon. The Patriots Day Remembrance gets underway at 12:30 p.m. at the Sails on the Square Stage. WHKY’s Hal Row is the emcee of the ceremony and the guest speaker will be retired Special Agent Gary Swinkey, who was the lead investigator for Flight 93. Hickory High School Chorus and ROTC will lead the pledge and national anthem, and the ceremony will open and close with the Hickory Police and Fire Department Honor Guard.

A Catawba County man has been arrested on multiple felony drug charges after a lengthy investigation.

58-year-old Jimmie Rodgers Fambrough of Dillon Drive in Newton was arrested Wednesday (September 9) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Drug Task Force Officers. He’s charged with felony counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver crack cocaine, possession of crack cocaine, and maintaining a vehicle for the purpose of sale and delivery of crack cocaine.

Fambrough was arrested following a two-month investigation. Investigators with the Drug Task Force had been receiving complaints that Fambrough was involved in the distribution of crack cocaine in the Newton, Conover, and Hickory areas. A search warrant was executed at 2286 Dillon Drive. Five grams along with ten dosage units of crack cocaine were seized, along with $134 in U.S. currency.

Following his arrest, Fambrough’s bond was set at $15,000 secured. He was not listed on the Catawba County “Who’s In Jail” website as of this morning. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today (Friday, September 11).

The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force is made up of investigators from the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, Maiden Police Department, and Homeland Security.

A Silver Alert issued for a missing person by authorities in Catawba County was cancelled Thursday night after the man was found. The Hickory Police Department reports that 83-year-old Billie Dean Little was found Thursday evening and he is reported to be safe. Little, who was reported to suffer from dementia, had been missing since late Thursday morning. No other details were given on the case.

65-year-old Lonnie Wayne Fredell of 9th Street NE in Hickory was arrested Thursday (September 10) by Hickory Police Officers. He’s charged with felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II and schedule III controlled substance along with maintain a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. Fredell was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $37,500 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Friday, September 11).

46-year-old Christopher Scott Rieger of Scenic Ridge Drive in Hickory was arrested this morning (September 11) by Hickory Police Officers. He’s charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure, felony possession of methamphetamine and simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance. The Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office has also charged Rieger with an additional count of indecent exposure, as well as one count of misdemeanor stalking.

Events leading to his arrest began yesterday as a female driving near Lenoir-Rhyne University told L-R Security that she had seen a male subject standing near his truck with his pants off in the parking lot near the university’s soccer field.

At about 1:45 this morning, Hickory Police spotted a red and silver 2001 Dodge Ram truck matching the suspect vehicle description. Officers stopped the vehicle at the Kangaroo Express store on North Center Street.

L-R Security confirmed that the truck and driver, Christopher Rieger, matched the description from the previous day’s incident. Controlled substances were found as Rieger was taken into custody.

The Sheriff’s charges come in connection to an incident that occurred at approximately eight o’clock Wednesday morning (September 9) on Zeb Haynes Road in Maiden. The suspect’s truck pulled up beside a female subject where the driver allegedly exposed himself to her. Rieger was identified and charged after his arrest by Hickory Police.

Rieger has been locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under a $61,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance on the drug charges was scheduled for today in Newton with another court date set for October 22 on the exposure charge. He’ll also appear in court on October 28 on the Sheriff’s charges.

Friday, 11 September 2015 04:40

Scam Warning Issued By Burke Sheriff's Office

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Authorities in Burke County are warning of a scam.

Last Friday (September 4) 2015 the Burke County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division was notified by a citizen who received a suspicious letter in the mail. The letter contained a check and instructions on how to be a Mystery Shopper and how to deposit the check into the victim’s personal checking account. After depositing the check the victim is instructed to call an Assigned Training Coordinator at a telephone number provided. The victim will receive instructions on how to visit a retail business and purchase prepaid money cards and send them to the caller. During this time, the victim’s bank discovers the check is from a fake account and the victim is out the amount of the prepaid money cards. The check appears official with water marks, account and routing numbers.

Investigators made contact with the telephone number listed in the letter and after identifying themselves as Investigators, the person hung up. The letter that accompanied the check had a name of Service Performance Group Inc. Investigators discovered that this is a legitimate business in the Raleigh, NC area and made contact with the owner, Jerry Gulyes. Gulyes stated that he has fielded several calls about this scam and he confirmed that this is not his business and he and his business are victims of identity theft. Mr. Gulyes has posted the following statement on his company’s website, http://www.spgweb.com/.

Scammers operating within the US and Canada have from time to time used the Mystery Shopper Providers Association name, and the names of legitimate mystery shopping companies to dupe consumers into sending them money. DON’T FALL FOR IT.

Using the name of a legitimate mystery shop company, the scammers will usually send to a consumer a mailed package containing completely bogus materials typically including: a check, an email address, a telephone number, and assignment materials (usually with typo’s or poor grammar) to dupe you into sending them money under the pretense of conducting a mystery shop, with part of the assignment requiring a wire transfer of funds.

NEVER deposit a check and send this money to someone before first letting the check clear your account; it won’t.

ALWAYS look at the email URL address in the bogus materials. They are never the real URL email address of a legitimate company. Scammers will use a hard to trace Hotmail, Gmail or other generic email address.

GO ONLINE to the company’s website that the scammers are claiming to be, and using the phone number on the company’s website call the company to confirm the package you have received is bogus. Do not trust the phone number provided in the bogus materials that have been sent to you because it is part of the scam.

The Burke County Sheriff's Office reminds citizens that if a deal is too good to be true, it probably is not legitimate.