Agents with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation (S.B.I.) are continuing to investigate the deputy-involved shooting that occurred in Hickory on Monday (November 28). 41-year-old Irecas Raysion Valentine was killed during the incident.

Agents from the S.B.I. were not in the area prior to or during the shooting, but responded to the scene because a request for an external and independent investigation was made by the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Upon arrival, Agents immediately began the independent criminal investigation.

The S.B.I. hopes to interview everyone who may have witnessed the incident and anyone who is in possession of video footage. When the investigation is complete, the S.B.I. will provide the case file to the Catawba County District Attorney.

Anyone with information should call the S.B.I.’s Hickory office at 828-294-2226. After hours, call 800-334-3000.

26-year-old Justin Ray Coleman and 32-year-old Justin Lee Allen, both of Bessemer City, along with 38-year-old Dana Michelle Matheson of York, South Carolina, have all been arrested by Lincoln Co. Narcotics Officers. All three were charged with conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and possession of a schedule II controlled substance. Coleman was also charged with conspiracy to sell & deliver a schedule II controlled substance. Matheson faces additional charges for maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance, speeding to elude arrest and no operator’s license. Coleman and Allen were both charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. They were arrested yesterday (December 1) after a brief vehicle pursuit south of Lincolnton.

According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office, the suspects made an arrangement to meet with an undercover Detective and sell a large quantity of meth. The suspects reportedly conducted counter-surveillance in an attempt to avoid detection and confuse the undercover Detective. Narcotics Detectives conducting surveillance recognized the activity and saw one of the suspect vehicles in the parking lot at a church near the 3000 block of the Gastonia Highway.

Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop and approach the subjects, but the vehicle left the parking lot, spinning its tires and narrowly avoiding oncoming traffic. With emergency lights and sirens activated, Detectives pursued the vehicle south on the Gastonia Highway and onto Highway 321 northbound until they reached mile marker 21, where the vehicle stopped. Detectives quickly took all three subjects into custody. During a search of the vehicle, Detectives seized meth, drug paraphernalia and more than $1,000 in cash. The vehicle was impounded.

Following their arrests, Coleman, and Allen were each given a $15,000 secured bond, while Matheson’s bond was set at $27,000, secured. No court dates are currently listed for Coleman and Allen. Matheson was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today.

Detectives believe the suspects have been coming through Lincoln County recently to participate in drug activity. Coleman has previously worked and lived in Lincoln County. The investigation is ongoing as Detectives work to identify others who may have been involved in Thursday’s incident.

As the result of the burn ban currently in effect throughout much of western North Carolina, Catawba Memorial Park has canceled its luminary service, which had been planned for tomorrow (December 3). A memorial service will still be in the funeral home chapel at the park. That service will begin at 5 p.m. tomorrow.

The service is intended to honor those who have passed away in 2016. The families and loved ones of anyone interred at the park are welcome to attend.

Catawba Memorial Park is located at 3010 Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory, near the Hickory Motor Speedway. For more information, call 828-322-8646.

28-year-old Brandon Adolphus-Edward Bates of Woodland Lane in Charlotte was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (December 1) on one felony count of possession of cocaine. According to H.P.D.’s arrest report, Bates was arrested for possessing one gram of crack cocaine.

He was taken into custody without incident at about 2:15 a.m. today on the 500 block of Highway 70 S.W. Bates was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $8,500 secured bond. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

63-year-old William Howard Bonds of 1st Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 10:15 last night (November 30) on one felony count each of breaking & entering, larceny after breaking & entering and habitual larceny.

Bonds was taken into custody without incident at the Walmart store on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $20,000 secured bond with an appearance in District Court scheduled today in Newton.

More information has been released regarding the arrests of 32-year-old Shawncody Lee Hanton of Bethel Road and 32-year-old Richard James Ussery of Oakshire Circle, both from Charlotte. The two were arrested by Hickory Police at 1:30 a.m. yesterday (November 29). They were each charged with three felony counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon. Ussery was also charged with failure to appear on misdemeanor counts of larceny and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. In addition, he was charged with a misdemeanor out-of-county probation violation.

At about 10:30 Sunday night (November 27), a 30-year-old man who lives on 5th Avenue S.W. let his friend, Richard James Ussery, into his apartment. Ussery did not completely shut the door. A short time later, Shawncody Lee Hanton, who was unknown to the victim, entered the residence. He pointed a handgun at the victim and demanded money. Both suspects left the apartment with the victim’s cell phone, his wallet and about $200 in cash.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol later spotted the suspect vehicle on Highway 321 S.W. Troopers pursued the vehicle into Gastonia, where it crashed. Both suspects were in the vehicle. A small quantity of crack cocaine and marijuana were also found. H.P.D. arrived on the scene and took both men back to Hickory.

It’s unclear why three robbery charges were filed against each suspect. No drug charges have been filed at this time.

Both suspects remain in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility. Hanton's bond was set at $200,000, secured, while Ussery was given a $311,000 secured bond. They were both scheduled to make first appearances in District Court yesterday with their next appearances coming up on December 13. Ussery has additional court dates on December 5, 14 & 16.

19-year-old Jaylyn Labron Bailey of Unity Drive, 17-year-old Jamiah Jehu Scott of Eastside Drive and 19-year-old Alvertis James Hughes of Hill Street, all from Statesville, have been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers. They were all charged with felony breaking and entering and felony larceny.       

On the morning of November 14, Deputies arrested Damaja Keshon Watts for breaking into an outbuilding and stealing a dirt bike on Barbary Drive. Through further investigation, three other suspects (Bailey, Scott and Hughes) were connected to the incident.

Bailey and Scott were arrested on November 16 with bond for each set at $10,000, secured. Hughes was arrested on Saturday, (November 26). He was given a $6,000 secured bond. Bailey will appear in court on February 27. Scott is due in court on December 7 and Hughes’ next appearance was set for December 12.

This investigation is ongoing. Authorities suspect it may lead to further information regarding additional break-ins and dirt bike larcenies.

28-year-old Brittany Danielle Boykin of Taylors, South Carolina was arrested by Hickory Police at 9 a.m. yesterday (November 28) on one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense and one misdemeanor count of larceny. The Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office also charged her with possession of a controlled substance on prison or jail premises.

She was arrested after Police responded to a reported shoplifting incident at the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Highway 70 S.W. Officers arrived to find that a Walmart employee had stopped the suspect outside the store.

The suspect, Brittany Danielle Boykin, allegedly took a Conair Infiniti Pro hair straightener from the shelves and returned it at the service desk in exchange for a gift card. She then attempted to leave the store. The item was valued at $32.

Boykin was taken into custody and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,500 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detectives are asking for public’s help in identifying two black females who stole money from check-out registers at the Walmart store at 7131 N.C. Highway 73 in Denver.

Investigating Officer Detective Greg Hager was told by store security that two females came into the store Saturday (November 26) at about 10:30 p.m. and were hanging around the front of the store. They then pretended to check out several clothing items, but were using that as cover as they broke into registers eight and nine.

The suspects walked out of the store, got into a dark-colored, four-door car and left the parking lot. The two women got away with more than $1,700. They may have also been involved in other thefts in the surrounding area.

Anyone with information should contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Lincolnton/Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. A Crime Stoppers tip leading to an arrest could result in a reward of up to $1,000.

30-year-old Eric Todd Driggers of Gold Creek Bay and 22-year-old Kelly Ann Davis of 24th Street N.E., both from Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police late Thanksgiving night (November 24). Driggers was charged with one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Davis was arrested on outstanding warrants for two counts of shoplifting and one count of failure to appear.

They were arrested after Police responded to the parking lot at McDonald’s on Highway 321 N.W. in Hickory. In the vehicle were a male driver and Kelly Davis, who was a rear passenger. As Officers spoke to the two occupants, Eric Driggers approached the vehicle.

Police found the outstanding warrants for Davis’ arrest. They also saw a glass pipe in the passenger side door, where Driggers had been seated. A subsequent search turned up a syringe containing 0.1 grams of methamphetamine under the front passenger seat.

Driggers and Davis were taken into the custody. The driver was not charged. Both subjects were placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Driggers set at $4,000, secured, while Davis was given a $10,000 secured bond. Driggers was due in court today (November 28). Davis has an appearance scheduled for January 12.

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