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The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in solving a case of financial card fraud.

On August 5, the Sheriff’s Office received a report of fraud that occurred throughout Iredell and Mecklenburg counties. Detective Sgt. Derek Getz with the Economic Crime Unit was assigned the case.

The victim lost a wallet at an unknown location. Later, unauthorized charges started to appear on the victim’s credit and debit cards in Mooresville, Huntersville, Cornelius and Charlotte.

Anyone with information regarding the case should contact Iredell/Statesville Crime Stoppers at 704-662-1340 or call Detective Sgt. Getz at 704-878-3180.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 07:32

Granite Falls Man Gets Minimum 38-Year Sentence

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40-year-old Phillip Matthew Bright of Granite Falls was convicted yesterday (August 25) on three felony counts of statutory rape of a 13, 14 or 15 year old. Bright was sentenced to no less than 460 months and no more than 621 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction. Upon his release, Bright will be required to register with the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry and be subjected to satellite-based monitoring for the remainder of his life.

The crimes occurred between 2011 and 2013 in Caldwell County. The investigation was the result of a report received by authorities in December 2013. Caldwell County Sheriff’s Detectives Stephen Raby and Shelly Hartley handled the investigation, with assistance from the Robin’s Nest Children’s Advocacy Center of Caldwell County. Assistant District Attorney Dawn Tutterow prosecuted the case and the Honorable Robert T. Sumner presided over the conviction.

Bright will be transported to the Division of Adult Correction for processing.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 07:22

Earthquake Reported Sunday in Watauga

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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has confirmed that a 2.4-magnitude earthquake occurred in Watauga County Sunday (August 24). The event was recorded at 7:16 p.m. with the epicenter of the earthquake four kilometers northeast of Blowing Rock. It had a depth of 12 kilometers.

Residents from Blowing Rock, Boone, Collettsville, Aho and other locations in Watauga County reported feeling the earthquake.

The earthquake was similar to a 2.5-magnitude event in June 2014; a 2.3-magnitude earthquake in May 2014; and a 2.9-magnitude earthquake in the Boone area in August 2013. All three of those events had an epicenter near Blowing Rock.

In November 2012, a 4.3-magnitude earthquake shook western North Carolina, but the epicenter of that quake was in Eastern Kentucky, about 100 miles from Boone.

68-year-old Johnnie Lee McCarroll of 2nd Street Place S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (August 25) on one felony count for the sale or delivery of cocaine, one felony count of maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested after Officers at the Horseshoe apartment complex on 2nd Street Place S.W. saw a vehicle pull up in front of an apartment and leave after a few minutes. Officers detected the odor of burned crack cocaine. They knocked on the door of the apartment, which is McCarroll’s residence, and were given consent to search.

The search allegedly turned up a pipe and a push rod in the apartment and 13 rocks of crack cocaine in McCarroll’s pocket. The crack weighed 0.4 grams.

McCarroll was taken into custody without incident and jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $7,500, secured. He will appear in District Court on August 27 in Newton.

Authorities have released the name of a man who died yesterday in Lake Rhodhiss. He is 40-year-old Gregory Paul Bordeleau of Valdese.

At 3:44 a.m. yesterday (August 24), the Caldwell County Communications Center received a call regarding a possible drowning on Lake Rhodhiss near the dam on the Caldwell County side of the lake. The caller said Mr. Bordeleau and some friends were jumping into the lake from a rocky cliff. The caller told Investigators that the victim slipped and fell approximately 25 feet into the water, striking his head on the rocks as he fell. The victim went under the water and never surfaced. Mr. Bordeleau’s friends jumped into the water, but were unable to locate the victim.

Emergency responders located the victim’s body at 8 a.m. in approximately 35 feet of water. The investigation is still ongoing, but at this point, Mr. Bordeleau’s death appears to be accidental.

75-year-old Chong Va Lee of Catawba County, who had been reported missing on Saturday (August 23), was found, deceased, at about 8 a.m. today (August 25).

Employees at Catawba County Riverbend Park saw the victim’s canoe floating several hundred yards below Oxford Dam Bridge near Riverbend Park Saturday morning.  The victim’s 1992 Toyota truck was located at the Oxford Dam on the Alexander County side near Wayside Church Road and Highway 16 South.  

A full-scale rescue & search was launched on land and water.  Search crews suspended operations at about three o’clock Sunday morning and resumed at about 8 a.m.  Personnel from the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office, Alexander County Rescue, the Lovelady Fire Department, Troutman Fire & Rescue, Catawba County Emergency Management, the Wittenburg Fire Department, the Taylorsville Fire Department, the Ellendale Fire Department, Sherrill’s Ford Fire & Rescue and the Iredell Rescue Squad assisted in the search.  A N.C. State Highway Patrol Helicopter was called in to assist with a low-flying grid search of the water.

Family members found the victim’s shoes at approximately seven o’clock Sunday evening, near the area where the victim’s body was located in the water.  A family member spotted Mr. Lee’s body floating in the water at approximately 7:30 this morning and called 9-1-1.  Personnel with the Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management, Alexander Rescue and the Wittenburg Fire Department recovered the victim’s body.

Mr. Lee’s body was transported to the North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem for an autopsy.

Monday, 25 August 2014 12:56

Hickory Man Indicted in 2011 Cocaine Case

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30-year-old Eulalio DeJesus Donis Marroquin of 12th Avenue N.E. in Hickory was served a felony indictment by Hickory Police at about 3 p.m. Saturday (August 23) on two counts of selling cocaine and two counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance. The charges date back to a 2011 case.

Marroquin was taken into custody without incident at an auto dealership in S.E. Hickory and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured. He will appear in Superior Court on September 29 in Newton.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for Lenoir-Rhyne University's Center for Graduate Studies of Columbia, S.C. was held last Thursday, August 21. The ceremony recognized the opening of LRU's newest graduate center, which shares a space with the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. The opening of the center launched two of the Columbia region's premier master's programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Human Services.

For more information, visit http://columbia.lr.edu.

50-year-old Mark Anthony Fountain of 9th Avenue Drive S.E. in Hickory was arrested at about 12:40 yesterday afternoon (August 24) on one count of felony habitual shoplifting and two counts of felony larceny by anti-inventory device. He was also arrested on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for assault on a female.

Fountain was arrested after Hickory Police were called to the Rugged Warehouse on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. A manager there notified Police after he allegedly saw Fountain conceal Nike shoes and a backpack. The manager detained Fountain until Police arrived. The merchandise was recovered.

Fountain was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in a Hickory courtroom today with another court date coming up on September 3.

55-year-old Lisa Dietz of Hickory has reportedly passed away as the result of an accident Tuesday morning, August 12, in Wilmington. Ms. Dietz was walking in the cross walk at the intersection of 3rd Street and Castle Street when a Volvo ran the red light.

A second car swerved to miss the Volvo and struck Ms. Dietz. She was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center with a serious head injury.

Authorities said they planned to file charges against the driver of the Volvo.

No further details are available at this time.