30-year-old Willie Furman Ferguson of Calvary Place in Lenoir was arrested by Lenoir Police yesterday (July 1) on two counts of breaking & entering. Following his arrest, Ferguson was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $40,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Lenoir.
33-year-old Hector Joseph Zayas of Cornelius was arrested Tuesday (June 30) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of trafficking opium or heroin by possession and transportation, and maintaining a vehicle for the sale or use of a controlled substance.
Narcotics investigators received information about Zayas leaving his residence in Cornelius with plans to possibly travel into Iredell County with illegal drugs. Investigators set up a surveillance operation on Interstate 77 Northbound in an effort to identify Zayas and they found him in Iredell County. Deputies spotted Zayas and performed a traffic stop on the vehicle Zayas was driving.
Deputies then deployed a canine to check foe the presence of illegal narcotics. The canine gave a positive indication. A search of the vehicle was conducted by the deputies, who found 17.2 grams of fentanyl, seven dosage units of xanax along with a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun.
Zayas was arrested on scene. He was then taken to the Iredell County Detention Center where his bond was set at $300,000 secured. A District Court appearance is scheduled for July 22.
The Catawba County Sheriff’s Narcotics Division and Special Enforcement Group (SEG) partnered with a multi-agency and jurisdictional task force headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) whose investigative efforts have resulted in the indictment 14 individuals, 11 of the defendants are Catawba County residents.
The defendants from Catawba County are as follows, 36-year-old Ruth Marie Duggar of Claremont, 55-year-old Kimberly Deann Bumgarner of Claremont, 34-year-old Cynthia Roxanne Shook of Catawba, 32-year-old Lowell Thomas Messer of Sherrills Ford, 26-year-old Samantha Jean Taylor of Newton, 38-year-old Jason Keith Reichard of Newton, 29-year-old Aaron Douglas Goodson of Maiden, and 33-year-old Priscilla Chapman Lambert of Hickory.
38-year-old James Kristoffer Cantley and 40-year-old Brian Duane Martz, both from unspecified Catawba County cities are incarcerated in Georgia, and 34-year-old Michael James Notheisen, also a resident of an unnamed city in Catawba County resident is incarcerated in the North Carolina Department of Corrections.
According to allegations contained in the criminal indictment unsealed in federal court, from 2018 through April 2019, the 14 defendants were involved in a drug conspiracy that allegedly trafficked and distributed methamphetamine in Catawba, Lincoln, Caldwell, and Alexander Counties and elsewhere in western North Carolina. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized at least 23 firearms, and more than $250,000 in drug proceeds.
Law Enforcement agencies involved in this investigation include the DEA in Charlotte, Asheville, and Atlanta; the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation; the North Carolina State Highway Patrol; the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office; the Newton Police Department; the Conover Police Department; the Maiden Police Department; the Hickory Police Department; the Longview Police Department; the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office; and the Granite Falls Police Department.
For the second straight day, 17 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed Wednesday (July 1) in Catawba County, increasing the overall total to 842, with 14 deaths. There were 12 people hospitalized with the coronavirus according to Catawba County Public Health, the same total as Tuesday (June 30). At least 416 patients had recovered from COVID-19 in Catawba County and there had been 3,332 negative test results. No new coronavirus cases were reported in Alexander County Wednesday, leaving the total at 91, with one death.
Burke County Public Health reported 22 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, increasing the total to 1,048, with 20 deaths. Six people were hospitalized and at least 797 patients had recovered from the coronavirus. 12 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed Wednesday in Caldwell County, upping the total to 424, with four deaths. Hospitalizations increased to 16 in Caldwell, the highest total since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. At least 237 patients had recovered.
Unemployment rates dropped across the Greater Hickory Metro area according to the latest update from the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division. The report was issued Wednesday (July 1) and shows the jobless rates for May.
Catawba County's unemployment rate is 16 percent even, down from 18.7 percent in the April report. Alexander County's jobless rate fell to 14 percent even, from 20.1 percent in the last report. Burke County's unemployment percentage is 13.8, down from 15.4 in April. Caldwell County's jobless rate fell to 14.6 percent, from 16 percent even in April.
The unemployment rate for the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area or MSA is 15 percent even, down from 17.6 percent in April. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton has the third highest jobless rate among 15 MSAs in the state, after having the highest unemployment percentage in April.
The statewide unemployment rate is 12.7 percent, up from 12.5 percent in April. Jobless rates increased in 65 of North Carolina's 100 counties, decreased in 34, and remained unchanged in one. Swain County has the highest jobless rate at 19.7 percent, Bertie and Chowan Counties tied with the lowest at 8.1 percent.
47-year-old Johnny Leroy Coleman of Elk Drive S.W. in Conover was arrested by Hickory Police at about 8:15 Tuesday morning (June 30) on one felony count of larceny of a motor vehicle.
Coleman was arrested after Officers responded to a used car dealership on Highway 70 S.E. in reference to a stolen motor vehicle. The vehicle was located at a convenience store on North Main Avenue in Newton. Coleman was taken into custody without incident at an address on East 11th Street, just around the corner from the store.
He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
For the second straight day, 17 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Catawba County, increasing the overall total to 842, with 14 deaths. There were 12 people hospitalized with the coronavirus according to Catawba County Public Health, the same total as Tuesday (June 30). At least 416 patients had recovered from COVID-19 in Catawba County and there had been 3,332 negative test results.
25-year-old Monte Eugene Eaker and 26-year-old Joseph Lee Eaker, both of the same Peachtree Lane, Granite Falls, address, were arrested Tuesday (June 30) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. The two suspects are brothers, they’re both charged with parole violation. Monte Eaker is also charged with two felony counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of schedule II controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Joseph Eaker is additionally charged with possession of methamphetamine and felony speeding to elude arrest.
Both suspects were jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $20,000 secured bond. They were both scheduled to appear in District Court today (July 1).
22-year-old Nicholas Scott Hefner of 2nd Avenue S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 11:30 a.m. yesterday (June 30) on one felony count of habitual larceny and misdemeanor counts of first-degree trespass and driving while license revoked. He was also charged with a felony probation violation and two misdemeanor probation violations.
Hefner was arrested after Officers conducted a traffic stop in a parking lot on 1st Street Drive S.E. The vehicle had an expired tag. During the stop, Police learned that the subject in the vehicle had just been involved in a larceny at Walmart. Hefner was arrested when a stolen canopy tent valued at $124 was found in his vehicle.
Hefner was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $27,500, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton. District & Superior Court appearances on the probation violations were scheduled for July 6.
31-year-old Logan Nathaniel Brown and 33-year-old Jordan Christopher Brown, both from neighboring addresses on Holly Drive in Granite Falls, were arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:20 a.m. yesterday (June 30). They were each charged with one count of felony larceny. Jordan Brown had initially been charged with aiding & abetting a felony, but that charge has been updated.
They were arrested after Hickory Police assisted The N.C. State Highway Patrol with a suspicious person call at a used car lot on U.S. Highway 70 S.E. The suspects were taken into custody without incident in connection to the theft of catalytic converters valued at $2,500.
They were placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Logan Brown set at $5,000, secured, while Jordan Brown was given a $2,500 secured bond. Both have since been released. First appearances in District Court were scheduled today in Newton.
29-year-old Christopher Ryan Byrd of Rebecca Lane in Lenoir was arrested by Hickory Police at about 4:30 yesterday afternoon (June 30) for a felony probation violation and a parole violation. He was also charged with misdemeanor counts of larceny and resisting, delaying, or obstructing a public officer.
He was arrested after Hickory Police responded to a shoplifting call at the Walmart store on Highway 70 S.E. where two subjects had been detained by Loss Prevention Officers. According to Police, Byrd attempted to flee on foot and initially provided incorrect identifying information. A second suspect, a 24-year-old woman from Lenoir, was also arrested and charged with misdemeanor larceny.
Byrd was paroled after serving time in prison following a June 2011 conviction in Caldwell County on two counts of felony 1st-degree kidnapping and felony counts of 1st-degree burglary and robbery with a dangerous weapon. In April of 2016, he was also convicted in McDowell County on felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and two counts of assault inflicting serious injury on a detention facility employee. He was released in August of last year.
Following his arrest yesterday, Byrd was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $102,500 secured bond. He'll appear in District Court on the misdemeanor charges on August 3 in Newton with a Superior Court date set for August 31 in Lenoir.
The Catawba Co. Sheriff's Office is investigating an incident in which a person has died of a gunshot wound at a residence on Hall Dairy Road, off of Rock Barn Road. According to the Sheriff's Office, the investigation is in its very early stages. No additional information is available at this time.
45-year-old Billy Roger McGee, Jr. of Spring Meadow Drive in Hickory was arrested Tuesday (June 30) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of stolen property and failure to appear on a felony. McGee was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $40,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (July 1).
19-year-old Devin Lee Hancock of Sanford Cragg Road in Hudson was arrested Monday (June 29) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of methamphetamine. Hancock was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for July 20.