Wednesday, 17 August 2016 09:46

Vehicle Stop Leads to Discovery of Stolen Gun

23-year-old Lee Marcus Wilson of 14th Street S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (August 17) on one felony count of possession of a stolen firearm and one misdemeanor count each of carrying a concealed gun, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while license revoked.

He was arrested after Police stopped a silver BMW driven by Wilson on the 2300 block of Springs Road N.E. in Hickory for an expired license tag. Officers identified the driver and found that he had an expired driver’s license.

A search of Wilson’s person turned up a digital scale with marijuana residue. In the vehicle’s center console, Officers found a Ruger P89 semi-automatic handgun. The gun had been reported as stolen from Caldwell County.

Wilson was taken into custody without incident at about 20 minutes past midnight. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.

19-year-old Jouse Abraham Robles-Barbosa and 22-year-old Ray Santaigo Luna, both of Charlotte, have been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on multiple felony drug offenses.

Their arrests were the result of a four-month undercover narcotics investigation that ended on Friday, August 12. Agencies involved include the Iredell County Sheriff’s Narcotics Investigation Unit, the Special Emergency Response Team and Special Agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

In May, Investigators learned of large amounts of methamphetamine being trafficked into southern Iredell County. Surveillance operations were established and undercover purchases were made. During the investigation, further information was gained regarding meth that was brought in from Mecklenburg County. Additional purchases and surveillance operations led to several locations outside of Iredell County.

On Friday, Robles-Barbosa and Luna were taken into custody at a gas station at Exit 31 off of I-77 South. A search of their vehicle turned up a sawed off shotgun, two semi-automatic pistols, 21.2 grams of cocaine, 116 grams of hydroponic marijuana and 317 grams of meth, a police scanner, two ski masks and $9,000 in U.S. Currency. In all, during the investigation, 600 grams of meth with a street value of $240,000 were seized.

A records check revealed that Ray Luna is wanted in New York state for narcotics trafficking. Investigators also learned that one of the two pistols seized was stolen.

Both suspects were taken to the Iredell County Detention Center. Robles-Barbosa was charged with three counts of level 1 trafficking of meth by sale, possession and transport and one count each of level 2 trafficking of meth by sale, possession and transport. He was also charged with possession with intent to sell cocaine, possession with intent to sell marijuana and possession of a stolen firearm. Luna faces one count each of level 2 trafficking of meth by possession and transport. He was also charged with possession with intent to sell cocaine, possession with intent to sell marijuana, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon. In addition, Luna is being held on the fugitive warrant from New York.

Robles-Barbosa was placed under a $1,500,000 secured bond and Luna’s bond was set at $750,000, secured. Both men will appear in District Court on August 30.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016 13:11

Stabbing Under Investigation in Boone

At 8:10 last night (August 15), Boone Police responded to an assault call at 167 Zeb Street in Boone. When Officers arrived, they found 27-year-old Jonathan Glen Pleasant of Boone suffering from a stab wound to the upper chest. Officers rendered emergency medical care until Watauga Medics arrived and transported Mr. Pleasant to Watauga Medical Center. He was later transferred to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

Investigators responded and processed the scene. A suspect has been identified, but the identity of the suspect is not being released at this time pending formal charges.

The investigation incident is continuing.

The second annual 2016 Footcandle Film Festival is coming to the Drendel Auditorium at the SALT Block the weekend of September 23-25. The film festival will bring 30 films for attendees to view. They’ll have the chance to meet some of the filmmakers throughout the weekend. A complete list of the films, their descriptions and trailers can be found on the festival website (

After two full days of films, the festival will conclude at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday with an awards ceremony at The Crossing at Hollar Mill where festival winners will be announced and a full dinner will be served to attendees.

Tickets are now on sale to the general public. Visit and click the “Buy Tickets” link on the homepage. Weekend passes are available.

For more information, contact the Film Society at or visit the festival’s website.

54-year-old Timothy Martin Benvenuti of 28th Avenue N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 9:45 last night (August 15) on one misdemeanor count of child abuse.

He was arrested after personnel with St. Stephens Elementary School reported that Benvenuti struck two minor subjects while in transit to or from the school’s Before & After School program.

Benvenuti was taken into custody without incident at his residence. He was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $1,000 secured bond. He is no longer in custody. An appearance in District Court was scheduled for September 28.

27-year-old Adrian Durrand Johnson, Jr. of 5th Avenue S.W. in Hickory was arrested at about 8 a.m. yesterday (August 15) by Hickory Police on a number of outstanding warrants. He is charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance and misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana up to half an ounce and simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance. He was also charged with failure to appear on felony counts of possession of cocaine and speeding to elude arrest with a motor vehicle, plus additional failure to appear charges on misdemeanor counts of assault on a female, resisting a public officer (two counts), driving while license revoked (two counts) and speeding.

Johnson was taken into custody without incident at a residence on Camp Street in Conover. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $95,000, secured. Appearances in Superior Court on the felony drug charges were scheduled for today and for October 3. District Court dates were set for August 24 & 31, all in Newton.

One person is dead and two others are in custody following an Officer-involved shooting this morning in the parking lot at Walmart on Blowing Rock Boulevard in Lenoir. The deceased has been identified as Carl Marcus Nivens.

The incident occurred around 9 a.m. today (August 16). Events unfolded as Lenoir Police responded to reports of a vehicle break-in. As an Officer exited the store behind a possible suspect, the man turned and fired at the Officer. The Officer returned fire, killing the suspect.

After the shooting, a handgun was reportedly spotted on the pavement outside the store and plastic tarps were draped near the store’s home & pharmacy entrance. A male and a female were with the deceased prior to the shooting. They were both detained and remained in custody as of this afternoon.

No one else was injured.

The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation is the lead agency.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016 07:38

Hudson Woman Charged with B&E; More

38-year-old Amanda Jo Greer of Lemont Avenue in Hudson was arrested yesterday (August 15) by Hudson Police on charges of breaking & entering, injury to real property, domestic criminal trespass and a probation violation. Greer is on probation for an August 2013 D.W.I. conviction in Caldwell County.

Following her arrest, she was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $10,500, secured. Greer will appear in District Court on September 20 in Lenoir.

Contractors in Morganton are refurbishing manholes this week in the northern part of the city.

Contractors will be at work on Williams Street, Holly Place, Laurel Hills Drive, Wedgewood Drive and Wedgewood Court. The work is part of a larger capital improvement program started in July to address infiltration and inflow into the city's sewer system.

Water Resources Director Brad Boris, Water Resources Director says the program has resulted in reduced treatment costs at the plant. He says that keeping stormwater and groundwater out of the city’s sewer system is a priority because those waters are major contributors to sanitary sewer overflows.

For more information, call the Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016 07:13

Catawba Man Jailed on Assault Charges

60-year-old Henry Calvin Kennedy of Rosewald Street in Catawba has been arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers on two counts each of assault on a female and communicating threats. The charges date back to 2014. Kennedy was jailed yesterday (August 15) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $20,000 secured bond. He will appear in Superior Court on August 29 in Newton.

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The individuals depicted have been arrested but not convicted at the time of story postings. This information does not infer or imply guilt of any actions or activity other than their arrest. We make no warranty or guaranty as to the accuracy of this data.

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