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Wednesday, 27 May 2015 11:39

Two from Hickory Arrested on Drug Charges

25-year-old Dallas Loyd Gragg of Sulphur Springs Road and 25-year-old Stephen Wayne Bryden of 19th Avenue N.E., both from Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police on drug charges Monday (May 25). Gragg was charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule IV controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of a schedule II controlled substance. Bryden faces charges for misdemeanor possession of marijuana up to half an ounce and an expired registration card or tag.

They were arrested after a traffic stop shortly before 9 p.m. Monday at 15th Street S.E. and Main Avenue S.E. The vehicle, driven by Bryden, was stopped for an expired registration. A search of the passenger, Dallas Gragg, resulted in discovery of 9.5 dosage units of Alprazolam and two dosage units of Oxycodone. A search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of 14.8 grams of marijuana under the driver’s seat.

Both were taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Gragg set at $28,000, secured, while Bryden was given a $2,000 secured bond. Bryden has since been released. Gragg was scheduled to appear in Superior Court today. Bryden has court dates on June 14 and July 1.

18-year-old Deangelo Marquise Beatty of 17th Avenue N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 5:20 p.m. yesterday (May 26). He was charged with felony larceny by anti-inventory device and misdemeanor larceny.

He was arrested after a Loss Prevention Officer at the Kohl’s store on Catawba Valley Boulevard observed Beatty as he took merchandise into a dressing room. The suspect allegedly removed tags from the items, including tank tops and pants, and wore the clothing out of the dressing room.

The Loss Prevention Officer stopped Beatty before he left the store and took him to the office, where he was taken into custody without incident by Hickory Police.

Beatty was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $2,000 secured bond. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

26-year-old Edward Ryan Williams, who is listed on police reports as a homeless person from Hickory, was served a felony indictment by Hickory Police at about 7:30 Friday evening. He was charged with two felony counts of trafficking in heroin or opium

He was charged in connection to a vehicle stop in February of this year. Five grams of heroin and 4.3 grams of marijuana were allegedly found in the vehicle. At the time, Alfred Wright was charged with trafficking and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance. Williams initially faced a misdemeanor marijuana charge; however, after further investigation, the felony trafficking charge was added.

Williams was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $100,000 secured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was set for May 29 in Newton.

From February 2015 through the present, Lincolnton Police have conducted a sting operation targeting child predators soliciting children through various social media websites. The operation was spearheaded by the L.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division, with assistance from the Narcotics Division, the Patrol Division and the Community Services Division.

17 people have been charged as a result of the investigation. The offenders are from various backgrounds and locations. They agreed to meet an undercover Officer posing as either an under-aged girl or boy from Lincolnton in order to have sexual activity with them.

Investigators received over 1,000 responses from various social media outlets during the operation. Some of the offenders brought alcohol and controlled substances with them to meet with what they believed to be under-aged children.

The lead investigator in the case is Det. Brent Heavner. Det. Heavner initiated the operation after investigating a case in which a young victim was sexually assaulted. The operation was designed as a proactive effort to prevent such cases. Several Lincolnton Police Officers received specialized training, in conjunction with the Lincoln County Child Advocacy Center.

Also assisting were nine other local and statewide law enforcement organizations, as well as the National Exploited Children’s Network.

The persons arrested are all males, ranging from 24 to 53 years of age. They are from Burke, Catawba, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, McDowell and Union counties. The investigation is ongoing and further arrests are possible.

57-year-old Danny Lee Harshaw of N.W. Wilson Street in Lenoir was arrested by Lenoir Police yesterday on one count of sexual battery. He was given a $2,000 secured bond. No court date is currently listed.

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31-year-old Misty Dawn Woody of Glass Road in Lenoir was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (May 21) for possession of stolen goods or property. Following her arrest, Woody was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $5,000 secured bond. No court date is currently listed.

36-year-old Elisha Lynnette Boughman of “F” Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6:35 p.m. yesterday (May 21) on one felony count of larceny by anti-inventory device.

She was initially arrested in February 2015 for shoplifting at the Kohl’s store on Catawba Valley Boulevard. A Loss Prevention Officer observed Boughman as she allegedly took girls clothing and a Nike fleece without paying. All of the items were recovered.

She was taken into custody yesterday without incident at Frye Regional Medical Center and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $23,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance in Newton was set for today.

23-year-old Tristian Gilmore, 21-year-old Morgan Newsome and 23-year-old Avery Forney, all from Charlotte, have been arrested by Watauga Co. Sheriff’s Officers. They were each charged with two counts of trafficking in opium & heroin.

On May 20, Officers with the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit and Patrol Officers conducted an undercover narcotics operation. In an effort to stem the flow of narcotics into the High Country, Detectives arranged for a large quantity of heroin to be delivered to Boone.

During the operation, the subjects fled the scene, resulting in a high-speed car chase through Boone. Boone Police joined in the pursuit and stopped the suspect vehicle at the intersection of Depot and River streets.

Officers took Gilmore, Newsome and Forney into custody. They recovered 50 grams of heroin and a semi-automatic pistol.

Each suspect was jailed under a $250,000 secured bond. They will next appear in District Court on June 18.

The investigation is ongoing. Further arrests are expected.

18-year-old Bradley Allen Caldwell of Boyd Avenue and 17-year-old James Walter Scott of Buffalo Shoals Road, both from Lincolnton, along with 17-year-old John Bishop Ayers of Nine Iron Court and 16-year-old Seth Brendan McCrorie of Old Post Road, both from Denver, have all been arrested on misdemeanor larceny charges in connection to the theft of road signs in Lincoln County. Caldwell was also charged with misdemeanor possession of stolen goods. Two more teens will also be charged.

Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Detective Frank Runyon said the theft of county signs drastically increased in 2015 with 64 signs reported stolen in the first two months of the year.

Deputies received information in early March that some of the signs were in a wooded area behind Boyd Avenue, east of Boger City. Deputies checked the area, but the only signs that were found at that time belonged to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

On May 13, Officers received additional information that led them to the home of one of the teens. That suspect took Detective Runyon to a nearby location in a wooded area at the end of Raintree Lane where the signs were found hidden under a pile of lumber. Signs from Diesel Drive, Unity Church Road, Rufus Road and Optimist Club Road (among others) were recovered and returned to the Lincoln County Planning & Inspection Department’s Sign Division. The stolen signs were valued at $3,500. In all, Detectives have recovered 35 county road signs. They also recovered a Neighborhood Watch sign and a Speed Limit sign.

Most of the road signs recovered was stolen from eastern Lincoln County. Officers are following up on new leads regarding signs stolen in western Lincoln County.

The four teens arrested have been released on an unsecured bond. Caldwell and Ayers both have court dates coming up on June 19, while Scott and McCrorie are due in court on June 5.

Hickory Police received reports of three bomb threats last night (May 20). In all three cases, the calls came from a private number and were made by a male caller who said that there was a bomb at each location he called.

The first call came in at 7:38 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store on Highway 70 S.E. The second call, received at 9:20 p.m. was at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market on Highway 70 S.W., followed by a third call at the Dollar General store on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard S.E. That call came in at 9:58 p.m.

The two Wal-Mart stores were evacuated. The Dollar General store was already in the process of closing for the evening.

Police responded to all three locations. No evidence of any explosives was found.

Anyone with information regarding the bomb threats should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.

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