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Monday, 06 June 2016 14:49

Conover Woman Busted on Felony Meth Charge

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19-year-old Wendy Menjivar of Pipers Ridge Circle in Conover was arrested by Hickory Police at 3:15 Sunday afternoon (June 5) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

She was arrested after Police responded an address on 5th Avenue S.W. to perform a health check on an individual identified as the caller’s son. When Officers arrived, that person was no longer at the residence.

Officers did see drug paraphernalia in plain view. While searching a 2002 Ford Mustang outside the residence, Police found 0.7 grams of methamphetamine. The vehicle belonged to Wendy Menjivar.

Menjivar was taken into custody without incident at the residence and jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $2,000 secured bond. She has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today (June 6) in Newton.

Monday, 06 June 2016 14:16

Suspect In Theft Of Skid Steer Being Sought

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A suspect in the theft of construction equipment is being sought by authorities in Iredell County. According to a news release from the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, on April 24, Deputies were called to Zachry Construction Site at Interstate 77 and interstate 40. They were contacted regarding a reported Larceny of a John Deere CT 322 Skid steer. The victim reported that he received information that the skid steer was possibly at 1501 Mountain View Church Road in Yadkinville.

Detective J.T. Carroll followed up on the investigation and had Yadkin County Sheriff’s Deputies go to the address to attempt to locate the skid steer loader. According to the news release, when Deputies arrived they saw Michael Dean Groce attempting to leave that address with the skid steer on a trailer. Yadkin County Sheriff’s deputies stopped and detained Groce and he began complaining of medical issues. Yadkin County EMS responded and transported Groce to a local medical care provider to be treated.

A warrant for Felony Larceny was then obtained and severed on Groce after he received medical treatment. The skid steer, which is valued at $25,000, was recovered and returned to the owner. Upon further investigation and multiple interviews, it was learned that an eye witness saw Jonathan Patrick White and another unknown male dropping the skid steer of at Groce’s property in the early morning hours. This witness has known White for some time. Warrants were then obtained for Felony Larceny of the skid steer on White. White, whose address is listed as Fisher Valley Road in Dobson, has another outstanding warrant issued by the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office for a similar incident.

Anyone with information on White’s whereabouts is asked to call Iredell County Sheriff’s Office at 704-878-3180 or Crime Stoppers at 704-662-1340.

24-year-old Robbie Octavion Little of 10th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 6:30 Saturday evening (June 4) on one felony count of speeding to elude arrest and one misdemeanor count each of driving while license revoked, careless & reckless driving, hit & run with property damage and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.

He was arrested after patrol Officers in the vicinity of 8th Street N.E. and 8th Avenue N.E. saw a vehicle driven by Little as it turned onto 7th Avenue N.E. at a high rate of speed. The Officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but it continued, making a left onto 12th Street N.E. where it lost control and hit a fence.

Little then fled on foot, briefly. He was taken into custody on Highland Avenue N.E.

Little was processed and released under a $5,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today (June 6) in Newton.

40-year-old Matthew Aaron Jones of 1st Avenue Place N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:30 last night (June 5) on one felony count each of obtaining property by false pretense and embezzlement, plus one misdemeanor count of accessing computers.

His arrest comes in connection to a January 2016 case in which Micro D, Inc., a company specializing in website design for the furniture industry, reported an employee, Matthew Jones, who allegedly ordered items online using a company credit card and then produced forged invoices for the items. The items included computers, iPads and household items.

Jones was a long-term employee at Micro D, Inc. Neither a time-frame for the fraudulent purchases nor an estimated total for property loss is available at this time.

Jones was taken into custody without incident at his residence. He was processed and released under a $30,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

During this morning’s (Monday, June 6) meeting of the Catawba County Board of Commissioners, it was announced that Mick Berry, currently City Manager for the City of Hickory, will become the new County Manager for the county, replacing Tom Lundy, who is retiring, effective August 1. Mr. Berry will move into his new position on July 5. Mr. Berry has been the City Manager for Hickory since 2004. A veteran of over 25 years in local government management, Mr. Berry, who began his career as a Budget Analyst in Catawba County, becomes Catawba County's second County Manager since 1979.

In addition, at today's Catawba County Commissioners meeting, the board approved the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year Budget. The budget amount is $252,801,734 and includes no tax increase. The county property tax rate remains at 57-1/2 cents.

In addition, at today's meeting, Commissioners acknowledged the passing of longtime County Public Information Officer Dave Hardin. Mr. Hardin passed away suddenly at his home at the age of 56.

32-year-old Angel Denise Sherrill Jolley of 10th Avenue Lane N.E. and 35-year-old Timothy Wayne Trivette of Section House Road, both from Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police for misdemeanor child abuse and other charges just before 9 p.m. Saturday (June 4). Jolley was also charged with one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, plus two misdemeanor counts of simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one count of resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. In addition to the child abuse charge, Trivette was charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.

Events leading to their arrests began when Officers saw an unattended infant in a 2002 Chrysler Sebring at the Kangaroo Express store on North Center Street in Hickory. Officers watched as a male subject, Timothy Trivette, approached the car. He was searched and found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia.

A woman, Angel Jolley, came out of the store. A Police spokesperson said she appeared to be impaired. A female Officer escorted Jolley back into the store and into the restroom, where she was searched. At that time, a minor altercation occurred involving Jolley and the Officer. No one was injured. The search turned up four Oxymorphone Hydrochloride pills and four Hydrocodone pills that were not prescribed to Jolley.

Officers also found 5.6 grams of methamphetamine in the vehicle.

The child, a male less than one year old, did not belong to either Jolley or Trivette. D.S.S. responded to the scene and took the child into protective custody.

Both subjects were taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Jolley set at $12,000, secured, while Trivette was given a $2,000 secured bond. Both have since been released. Jolley was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton. Both subjects have a court date on the child abuse charge on August 4.

Monday, 06 June 2016 11:10

Catawba County P.I.O. Passes Away

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Dave Hardin, Public Information Officer for Catawba County, has died suddenly at the age of 56. He passed away last night or this morning (June 5-6) at his home.

Mr. Hardin was a graduate of Hickory High School, class of 1977. He earned a B.A. in History from Lenoir-Rhyne in 1981.

Mr. Hardin, an avid bird watcher, had been employed by the county since 1993. Previously, he worked for WIRC radio in Hickory.

In this morning’s (June 6) meeting of the Catawba Co. Commissioners, it was announced that Mick Berry, currently City Manager for the City of Hickory, will become the new County Manager for the county, replacing Tom Lundy, who is retiring, effective August 1. Mr. Berry will move into his new position on July 5.

48-year-old Larry Dean Ballard, aka "I-40", of Crows Road in Lawndale, was arrested last Wednesday (June 1) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with one felony count each of possession with intent to sell or deliver methamphetamine and maintaining a vehicle for controlled substances. He was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of no operators license, reckless driving to endanger, and an expired registration plate. The suspect was released on bond and additional charges have been filed, however Ballard has not been found by authorities.  

Lincoln County Sheriff's Detectives say Ballard has been the target of an investigation for nearly a year. Detectives believe he is a major source for methamphetamine in western Lincoln County, as well as Cleveland, Catawba, and Burke Counties. Detectives conducted a surveillance operation that spanned several months. During the operation detectives gathered information about the man’s whereabouts, vehicles, habits, and delivery patterns.

Last Wednesday, detectives saw Ballard driving one of his vehicles and knew he did not have a valid driver’s license.  Detectives followed the suspect until a marked patrol unit could arrive and conduct a traffic stop. When the patrol unit attempted to stop the vehicle, Ballard continued driving, erratically without stopping. Deputies saw the suspect throw something out of the window. Then Ballard stopped his vehicle.  Deputies located the item he threw out, which was nearly an ounce of methamphetamine in a plastic bag. Ballard also had over $30,000 cash inside the vehicle.  

Ballard was arrested for charges stemming from the traffic stop and narcotics detectives went to a residence near the 1300 block of Crows Road near the Lincoln/Catawba County line. Detectives executed a search warrant at the residence, they searched the large property for nearly five hours.  During the search officers seized three more ounces of methamphetamine, more cash, drug paraphernalia, a stolen firearm, and a stolen motorcycle.  
 
Ballard was released early Thursday morning (June 2) after posting a $16,000 secured bond. On Friday (June 3), Lincoln County Narcotics detectives issued additional charges stemming from the search warrant conducted at Ballard’s residence after his arrest on Wednesday night. Ballard is now wanted on one felony count each of trafficking methamphetamine, maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and possession of a stolen firearm. Ballard had not been located and has been entered in the National Crime Information Center, or NCIC as a wanted subject.  

Anyone with information as to Ballard’s whereabouts is urged to call Lincoln County Communications at 704-735-8202, Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909, or your local law enforcement agency.  Callers can remain anonymous. 

32-year-old Stuart Alan Colwell of 2nd Avenue SW and 30-year-old Nathan Ryan Hendrix of 2nd Street Place NE, both from Hickory, were both arrested by Watauga County Sheriff's Officers. They're each charged with two counts of trafficking in heroin and two counts of conspiracy to traffic in heroin. Colwell is also charged with maintaining a vehicle to keep controlled substance.

On May 26, Narcotics Detectives from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office conducted an undercover operation seizing over five grams of Heroin. The suspects were arrested as a result of that investigation.   

Both men were detained in the Watauga County Detention Facility under $40,000 secured bond apiece. They're both scheduled to appear in District Court June 17.

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