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32-year-old William David Whetstone of 6th Street N.W. and 30-year-old Holly Michelle Pless of 12th Street Place N.W., both from Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police at about 9:40 Friday night (April 8). Whetstone was charged with felony counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a schedule II controlled substance, as well as misdemeanor counts of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also charged with altering, stealing or destroying criminal evidence. Pless was charged with felony possession of heroin and misdemeanor possession of marijuana up to half an ounce.

Events leading to the arrests began at about 1:25 Friday afternoon when Police responded to a 9-1-1 call at the Days Inn Suites on 13th Avenue Drive N.W. The male victim said several subjects knocked on his door and entered the room. The victim said he was pistol-whipped and robbed. The victim was acquainted with one of the men, William Whetstone. There are no indications on Police reports that the victim required medical attention.

Later the same day, Officers found the suspect vehicle, a 2017 Dodge Challenger, in the parking lot at the Olde Hickory Station restaurant in downtown Hickory. Officers approached the vehicle and recognized Whetstone as the suspect from the earlier incident.

A search turned up 0.2 grams of heroin, three grams of marijuana, 0.3 grams of methampetamine and drug paraphernalia. According to Police reports, some of the drugs were found in Pless’ “female private area”.

Both suspects were taken into custody without incident. They were jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Whetstone set at $75,000, secured, while Pless was given a $10,000 secured bond. First appearances in District Court were scheduled today (April 11) in Newton.

40-year-old Eric Scott Summers of Knox Avenue in Statesville was arrested Friday (April 8) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with four felony counts apiece of possession with intent to sell and deliver crack cocaine and maintain a vehicle, dwelling or place to sell controlled substances along with one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

An investigation into the sale of “Crack” Cocaine in the Park Drive, Knox Avenue, area of Statesville was concluded on Friday. A search warrant was executed at 841 Knox Avenue by members of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) and all members of the Narcotics Investigation Unit.

The investigation revealed crack cocaine was being manufactured and sold out of 841 Knox Avenue by Eric Scott Summers who lives there. Purchases of crack were made from Summers at the residence.

Based on the evidence gathered, the search warrant and arrest warrants were secured by detectives.  The search warrant resulted in the discovery of items consistent with the manufacturing of crack cocaine. An amount of liquid in a jar inside a microwave in the kitchen area of the residence presumptively tested positive for cocaine, it will be sent to the lab for verification.

Summers was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center and was placed under $100,000 Dollars Secured Bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, April 11).

Eric Summers has a lengthy criminal history and was currently on an ankle monitor with North Carolina Probation and Parole for felony convictions of similar drug type crimes.

32-year-old Rhiannon Nicole Forrest of Porter Lane in Statesville was arrested last Thursday (April 7) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with six felony counts of trafficking methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by a felon.  

A multi-month investigation into the sale and delivery of methamphetamine in the Central Iredell County Area resulted in the arrest of Forrest in a traffic stop conducted by members of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Narcotics Investigation Unit along with members of the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement (ACE) Team.

This investigation into methamphetamine sales began months ago when narcotics investigators received information about methamphetamine being brought into Iredell County and being sold in the central portion of Iredell County particularly in the Interstate 40, Highway 21 area of Statesville.

Several surveillance operations were conducted in the area and suspects were identified. Undercover purchases of methamphetamine were conducted. Undercover narcotics investigators witnessed Forrest making drug sales.

Forrest was placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under $250,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for April 19. Further charges are anticipated as this investigation continues.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and Secretary of State Elaine Marshall recently announced that two sham cancer charities that misled donors out of $75 million nationwide will be dissolved and their leader banned from nonprofit work.

Cooper, Marshall, officials from 49 other states and the Federal Trade Commission announced a permanent injunction on March 30 that will shut down Cancer Fund of America Inc. (CFA) and Cancer Support Services Inc. (CSS), donate their assets to legitimate charities, and ban their leader, James Reynolds, Sr., from profiting from fundraising and nonprofit work and from serving as a charity’s director or trustee.

The injunction is part of a settlement to resolve allegations that CFA and CSS claimed to help cancer patients and used misleading fundraising solicitations and phone calls, but spent the vast majority of the money they raised on themselves, their families and friends, and professional fundraisers.

Under the settlement, CFA, CSS and Reynolds are ordered to pay $75,825,653, the amount consumers donated to them between 2008 and 2012.  The sham charities’ assets will be sold and any profits will go to support charities that actually help cancer patients and to cover the costs of the investigation. The judgment against Reynolds will be suspended if he surrenders certain assets, with the full judgment due immediately if he is found to have misrepresented his finances.

The injunction resolves a lawsuit filed in May of 2015 against CFA, CSS, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, The Breast Cancer Society, and their operators for allegedly bilking more than $187 million from donors. Cancer Fund of America and Cancer Support Services were responsible for around $75 million of that amount.

In the lawsuit, Cooper and Marshall alleged that the defendants portrayed themselves as charities that gave direct support to cancer patients across the country, but 85% of the contributions they raised never benefited actual cancer victims. Investigators found that the defendants spent charitable contributions on cruises, concert tickets, dating site memberships, and Jet Ski trips, all approved by their boards of directors.

According to the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office, North Carolina consumers donated $1,012,775.78 to the four charities named in the original lawsuit, with more than 80 percent of the money given going to fundraisers.

Children’s Cancer Fund of America, The Breast Cancer Society and the individual defendants other than Reynolds entered into settlements in 2015 to resolve the allegations against them.

Cooper and Marshall urge North Carolina consumers to research charities before donating to them. Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division offers tips on researching charities and avoiding charity scams at ncdoj.gov. Consumers who spot charity scams are encouraged to file a complaint with our office online or by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina.

Consumers who have questions about individual charities or charitable solicitation activities can call the Secretary of State’s Office’s Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division toll-free within North Carolina at 1-888-830-4989 or 1-919-807-2214, or visit the division online at secretary.state.nc.us/csl.

A vehicle theft that occurred while the victim was attempting to sell the automobile is under investigation in Caldwell County.

On March 25, an auto larceny report was made from an address on Pinewood Road in Granite Falls. The 2001 silver Audi was parked in a yard for sale. A white male and a white female stopped to look at the car. The white male appeared to be around 5'7" with a slender build, around 30 years of age, with brown hair and a mustache. The female was around 5'5", with a slender build, long blond hair and appeared to be around 50-years-old.

The male asked to test drive the car, the female followed in her own car, and the two never returned with the silver Audi. If you know who these two people are, or if you have any information regarding this case, call Det. Sergeant Shelly Hartley at 828-759-1526. You can also contact Lenoir-Caldwell Crimestoppers at 828-758-8300.  

You can also contact Crimestoppers with information on any other crimes that have occurred in Caldwell County, you may remain anonymous when contacting them and you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Monday, 11 April 2016 05:32

Drug Charges Filed Against Newton Man

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31-year-old Desta Theron Carson of Sigman Street in Newton was arrested Saturday (April 9) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of schedule I controlled substance and simple possession of schedule VI controlled substance. Carson was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $8,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for April 29.

23-year-old Morgan Rio-Shay Blevins of Costner Road in Hickory was arrested this morning (Monday, April 11) by Hickory Police Officers. She was charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine and misdemeanor carrying a concealed gun.

Blevins was arrested following a traffic stop at Highway 70 S.W. and Highway 321 South. Blevins, who was driving, did not have a valid driver’s license. A search turned up 8.4 grams of meth in the vehicle and a .22 caliber pistol on Blevins’ person.

She was taken into custody without incident at about 12:20 a.m. A passenger in the vehicle was not charged. Blevins was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under a $30,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for Tuesday (April 12).

Authorities are investigating a reported shooting in southern Caldwell County late Sunday night (April 10). According to various published reports, at least one victim was reported not breathing. The reports say the victim was possibly shot in the head at a location off of Baton Church Road. The incident reportedly occurred at approximately 10 p.m. No other information was available, we will update you as we receive more details.

Friday, 08 April 2016 14:48

Conover Woman Re-Arrested on 2014 Drug Charges

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29-year-old Tealisa Danielle Troutman of Travis Road in Conover was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before 11 o’clock last night (April 7) on one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Her arrest comes in connection to an incident in July of 2014. Police on foot patrol at the Red Roof Inn in Hickory observed suspicious activity at a room there. As Officer approached the room’s open door, they smelled marijuana.

A search was conducted, leading to the discovery of scales, a meth pipe, one gram of marijuana, four dosage units of Amitriptyline (an anti-depressant & pain medication) and 10.5 grams of methamphetamine. Troutman and another suspect, Elaine Vang, were arrested at that time. A third person present was released.

Last night, Troutman was taken into custody at a gas station on Highway 70 S.E. She was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $8,000 secured bond. She has since been released. An appearance in Superior Court was set for today in Newton.

For the 31st consecutive year, the city of Newton has been awarded the prestigious Certificate for Excellence in Financial Reporting.

The Newton Finance Department was presented with the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for the city’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for fiscal year 2015. The certificate is the highest form of recognition in the areas of governmental accounting and financial reporting. Attainment of the certificate represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management, according to GFOA.

The GFOA established the certificate program in 1945 to encourage and assist governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles. Newton’s comprehensive annual financial reports are evidence of the city’s spirit of transparency and dedication to full disclosure.

An impartial panel awards the certificate after determining that a government meets GFOA’s high standards and demonstrates a constructive spirit of full disclosure to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate people to read its annual financial report.

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association that serves about 17,500 government finance professionals throughout North America.