Multiple arrests have been made and additional suspects were being sought in a drug investigation in Lincoln County.
Since April 12, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit has charged seven people with multiple drug offenses. The charges come after the conclusion of several investigations into the sale, delivery, transportation, and possession of illegal narcotics.
According to detectives, the focus of these particular investigations was primarily methamphetamine, marijuana, and prescription pills. Some of the investigations concluded with warrants being issued and some were concluded where the individuals were approached as the drug activity was occurring.
Detectives say the investigations originated from several different sources including surveillance and undercover operations, citizen tips, and follow up investigations into individuals previously arrested for unrelated drug offenses. Four of the seven individuals charged have been located while three more remain at large.
The individuals still at large who have yet to be arrested are:
18-year-old Winston Shemar Baxter of Lincolnton, who is charged with three felony counts each of sell and deliver Schedule VI controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule VI controlled substance.
34-year-old Pamela Dawn Mayer of Bessemer City, who is wanted for two felony counts each of sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance, conspire to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance, and possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance.
24-year-old Brandon Chadrick Aldridge of Belmont is wanted for one felony count each of sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance, conspire to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance, and possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance.
The individuals arrested were: 35-year-old Megan Wray Campos of Cedar Grove Church Road in Vale. She's charged with one felony count each of possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine and possession of schedule II controlled substance. She was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of driving while license revoked and possession of drug paraphernalia.
56-year-old Dwayne Spivey of Clineland Farm Road in Cherryville was charged with one felony count of possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule IV controlled substance.
55-year-old Donald Curtis Carpenter of Lincolnton was charged with one felony count each of sell and deliver schedule VI controlled substance and possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule VI controlled substance.
33-year-old Kelsey Leigh Cochrane of Crouse was charge with one felony count of possession of schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Campos received a $35,000 secured bond, no court date was listed. Spivey received a $2,500 secured bond, Carpenter received a $5,000 secured bond, andCochrane received a $2,500 secured bond. They're all scheduled to appear in District Court May 9.
The District Attorney’s Office has released a statement concluding that Hickory Police Officers acted lawfully when they fatally shot 33-year-old William David Whetstone at his residence on 12th Street Place N.W. in Hickory on February 3 of this year.
According to the D.A.’s statement, Whetstone was involved in the sale of narcotics in the days prior to the shooting and was the target of an ongoing investigation, leading to the issuance of what was described as a high-risk search warrant. Because Police knew Whetstone had firearms in the house, the search warrant was served by the H.P.D.’s Special Operations Team.
Officers entered the house during daylight hours, loudly identifying themselves as Police Officers with a warrant. Another suspect in the residence immediately complied with Officers’ commands to get on the floor. Whetstone was told repeatedly not to move, but he reached between the cushion and arm of the sofa, pulled out a handgun and pointed it directly at Officers, who were only a few feet away. Officers immediately fired their weapons, striking Whetstone multiple times. The entire sequence of events unfolded in a few seconds.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (S.B.I.) investigated the shooting. Multiple body camera videos of the shooting exist and they were collected and preserved by the S.B.I. The D.A.’s Office reviewed eyewitness accounts, corroborated by the body camera footage and other physical evidence, and found all the information to be consistent.
34-year-old Tyrone Pernell Chambers of East Horah Street in Salisbury, 45-year-old Kenneth Jerome Dulin of Deaton Street in Statesville and 36-year-old Courtney Deshawn Bradshaw of Granby Avenue in High Point have all been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers. Chambers was charged with felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon. Dulin was charged with resisting a public officer and Bradshaw was arrested on outstanding warrants.
At about 7 p.m. Monday (April 17), Officers working in the area of the Salisbury Highway saw a green Honda sedan make a traffic violation. An Officer activated his emergency lights in attempt to make a traffic stop, but the Honda continued onto Third Creek Road. The vehicle then turned onto Palmer Lane where it stopped.
Deputies approached the vehicle and found that the driver, Kenneth Dulin, had a suspended license. While speaking with Dulin, Deputies noticed the rear passenger, Tyrone Chambers, reaching into his clothing. Chambers took a semi-automatic 9mm handgun from his waistband and drop it to the floorboard between his feet.
Deputies detained everyone in the vehicle. A records check revealed that Chambers was a convicted felon for selling cocaine and armed robbery. While attempting to detain Dulin, he became aggressive and pulled away from the Officer, resulting in the resisting charge.
Chambers was given a $25,000 secured bond. Dulin’s bond was set at $500, secured. Chambers has a court date on May 8, while Dulin is due in court on June 5. No bond amount or court dates were listed for Bradshaw.
All three suspects are repeat offenders with extensive criminal histories. The investigation is ongoing with more charges expected.
31-year-old Stacey Ann Keaton of Henderson Road in Cornelius has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of assault & battery, domestic criminal trespass and three counts of assault on a child under 12.
On April 15, Deputies responded to the scene of a domestic dispute on Mott Road in Mooresville. Stacey Keaton reportedly came to the residence and got into a verbal altercation with her estranged husband and his fiancé. Keaton was asked to leave the residence several times before being locked out. Keaton then kicked the door open and assaulted the victim while trying to gain entry into the home to get to her child. She had to be physically removed from the residence.
Detectives spoke to the victim and other witnesses. They learned that Keaton also assaulted three other children who were inside the home at the time of the incident.
Keaton was arrested Tuesday (April 18) and given a $2,500 unsecured bond. She’ll appear in District Court on May 12.
25-year-old Dewayne Jaron Clark of 5th Street S.E. in Hickory was arrested shortly after 2 a.m. today (April 19) on one felony count each of breaking & entering, larceny after breaking & entering and obtaining property by false pretenses.
He was arrested in connection to an incident in August of last year when Police took a report regarding jewelry that was stolen from a residence. The stolen items were located at Hickory Pawn & Gun. The suspect was identified as Dewayne Jaron Clark. Warrants were issued in February and March of this year.
Clark was taken into custody without incident at the Budget Inn on Highway 70 S.W. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $7,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.
Yesterday (April 18), Verizon Communications Inc. announced a three-year minimum purchase agreement with Corning Incorporated to provide fiber optic cable and associated hardware for Verizon to ensure critical coverage and capacity for its nationwide wireless broadband network. The agreement calls for Verizon to purchase from Corning up to 12.4 million miles of optical fiber each year from 2018 through 2020, with a minimum purchase commitment of $1.05 billion.
Roger Gurnani, Verizon's chief information and technology architect, said, "Corning's unique combination of capabilities delivers solutions that provide us with performance and cost advantages as we continue to expand our network coverage and capacity."
Over the past several months, Corning has announced plans to expand capacity and to invest more than $250 million in its optical fiber, cable and solutions manufacturing facilities to help meet the demand of its global carrier and enterprise customers. Corning expects the expansions to begin to come online in 2017 and become fully operational in 2018.
Corning Optical Communications has corporate offices in Hickory on Highway 321 N.W.
What began as an investigation into a Nebo man’s drug activity has led local, regional, state and federal authorities to dozens of suspects in a narcotics conspiracy that spans from McDowell County to California.
The investigation began in July of 2016 with a probe of activity at the residence of 36-year-old Jamie Leonard Tate on Stacy Farm Road. Investigators learned that Tate and 35-year-old Dwayne Bullock of Newton conspired with numerous subjects to traffic and distribute hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as lesser amounts of cocaine and heroin.
On Tuesday (April 18), authorities began rounding up suspects, simultaneously raiding areas in McDowell, Burke and Catawba counties that authorities believe were used for the storage and distribution of narcotics. Seized during the raids were approximately 20 pounds of meth, an estimated $500,000 in cash, more than half a pound of marijuana, up to four ounces of fentanyl and other small amounts of pills, as well as firearms, cell phones and vehicles.
Those arrested Tuesday include:
36-year-old Jamie Leonard Tate of Stacy Farm Road in Nebo. He’s charged with six counts of trafficking in meth, three counts of conspiracy to traffic meth and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a schedule II controlled substance and continuing a criminal enterprise. He is in the McDowell County jail under a $5-million bond.
37-year-old Leah Patience Davis of Stacy Farm Road in Nebo. Davis was charged with six counts of trafficking meth, three counts of conspiracy to traffic meth and one count of aiding & abetting a continuing a criminal enterprise. She is in the McDowell County jail under a $1-million bond.
25-year-old Gregory Adonis Rutherford of Shade Valley Drive and Ed Bowman Street, both in Morganton, was arrested on three counts each of trafficking meth and conspiracy to traffic meth and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a schedule II controlled substance and aiding and abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. He is in the McDowell County jail under a $1-million bond.
49-year-old Randy “Big Country” Scott of U.S. Highway 70 West in Marion. He was charged with six counts of trafficking meth, three counts of conspiracy to traffic meth and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a schedule II controlled substance and aiding & abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. He is in the McDowell County jail under a $1-million bond.
45-year-old Aretha Gilley Fullwood of Snow Hill Church Road in Morganton was charged with three counts each of conspiracy to traffic meth and conspiracy to traffic heroin and one count each of trafficking meth and aiding & abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. She is in the McDowell County jail under a $500,000 bond.
55-year-old Aretha Faye Giles of 17th Street West in Newton. She faces three counts each of conspiracy to traffic meth and conspiracy to traffic heroin and one count of aiding & abetting a continuing a criminal enterprise. She is in the McDowell County jail under a $500,000 bond.
28-year-old Karita Shanece “China” Bullock of Shangri La Drive in Conover was charged with six counts of trafficking meth, three counts of conspiracy to traffic meth and one count of aiding & abetting continuing a criminal enterprise. She is in the McDowell County jail under a $1-million bond.
Three suspects with warrants remain at large. They are:
35-year-old Dwayne Bullock of 17th Street West in Newton is wanted on six counts of conspiracy to traffic heroin, three counts of conspiracy to traffic meth and one count of continuing a criminal enterprise.
37-year-old Marqueseo Marshay “Pepe” Pearson of Stephens Drive in Morganton is wanted on three counts of conspiracy to traffic meth and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a schedule II controlled substance and aiding & abetting a continuing a criminal enterprise.
66-year-old William Jackie Pearson of Stephens Drive in Morganton is wanted on three counts of conspiracy to traffic meth and one count each of conspiracy to manufacture a schedule II controlled substance and aiding & abetting a continuing a criminal enterprise.
Additional arrests and charges are pending.
The drug conspiracy investigation was a nine-month joint, multi-jurisdictional effort involving the McDowell Co. Sheriff’s Office; the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation; the Marion Police Department; the McDowell Co. District Attorney’s Office; the Burke Co. Sheriff’s Office; the Morganton Department of Public Safety; the Newton Police Department; the N.C. State Highway Patrol; the U.S. Postal Service; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Attorney’s Office; and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. Also providing aid at the scenes Tuesday were McDowell Co. Emergency Management, McDowell County E.M.S., the Nebo Fire Department, the N.C. Department of Revenue and N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Dwayne Bullock, Marqueseo Pearson or Jackie Pearson should call the McDowell Co. Sheriff’s Office at 828-652-2235, McDowell County Communications at 828-652-4000 or McDowell County Crime Stoppers at 828-65-CRIME (828-652-7463). Information may also be sent to Crime Stoppers via text message. Text MCDOWELLTIPS and the information to 274637 (CRIMES). Persons providing information to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.
23-year-old Dustin Scott Goode of Delview Road in Cherryville has been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers on one felony count each of first-degree burglary, possession of stolen goods, larceny and breaking & entering.
On March 12, an 86-year-old man from Vale told Deputies he was awakened by the sound of movement in his basement. He looked out a window and saw flashlights followed by the sound of a vehicle leaving his driveway. The victim called 9-1-1 and a Deputy was dispatched to his residence. The Deputy found that the victim’s home and an outbuilding had been burglarized.
Stolen in the break-in were several antiques including pottery, oil lanterns, glass motor oil containers and milk jars, along with other items the victim had saved over his lifetime. Detective Dan Snellings contacted local antique dealers. With their assistance, Dustin Scott Goode was developed as a suspect. Two of the stolen items were found at a Gastonia antique store. Goode sold the items to the store the day after the break-in.
Goode was arrested by Cherryville Police on April 15 and turned over to authorities in Lincoln County. The suspect was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $35,000 secured bond.
Several of the stolen items have not been recovered. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of those items should contact the Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, Lincolnton/Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909 or Detective Snellings at 704-276-9186.
Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers have arrested three people on drug charges. A fourth suspect has been charged, but not arrested.
33-year-old Jonathan Lawrence Cline of Peeler Road in Vale was charged with one felony count each of trafficking in cocaine, possession of a schedule I controlled substance, trafficking in methamphetamine, maintaining a residence for a controlled substance and fraud by identity theft, plus one misdemeanor count of failure to appear. 30-year-old Holly Lynn Pope of Shepherd Court in Taylorsville and 33-year-old Shasta Marie Oxendine of Atlantic Lane in Lincolnton were each charged with felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance. 39-year-old Jennifer Marie Sronce of Reeps Grove Church Road in Vale faces one count of felony possession of methamphetamine. The warrants on Sronce have not been served. All four suspects were charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. In addition, Cline and Oxendine were each charged with non-support.
On April 14, a call about a suspicious person on the 8000 block of Reep’s Grove Church Road led Deputies to a residence on Peeler Road where illegal drugs were being used. The subject had been carrying several camouflage bags that were left lying on the ground. The reporting party said the man appeared to be impaired. Officers were unable to locate him.
Deputies then went to several homes on Peeler Road before arriving at a residence where they saw, through an open door, several subjects sitting in the living room. They saw a female with a lighter in one hand and holding a glass pipe in her mouth with the other hand. She immediately put the pipe down and blew out smoke.
The owner gave Deputies consent to search the residence where they located various types of illegal drugs, including cocaine and liquid methamphetamine. They also seized drug paraphernalia, including used and unused hypodermic needles, glass pipes and digital scales. A search warrant was obtained and Sheriff’s Narcotics Investigators were called to the scene to continue the search.
Following the arrests, Cline was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $127,700 secured bond. Pope’s bond was set at $10,000, secured, and Oxendine was given a $5,750 secured bond. They will next appear in District Court on May 2.
22-year-old Khali Amir Holmes has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on two felony counts of statutory rape of a child as well as four felony counts of statutory sexual offense with a child by an adult offender.
On March 24, the Sheriff’s Office took a report regarding the statutory rape of a child. An investigation led to Holmes’ arrest on one count of statutory rape. He was jailed in the Iredell County Detention Center.
Through further investigation, Detectives learned that the suspect had several prior encounters with the juvenile victim, leading to additional charges. The offenses allegedly occurred between January 1 and March 24 of this year in southern Iredell County.
Holmes was given a $300,000 secured bond. District Court appearances were scheduled for today (April 17) and for April 19.