A Charlotte man received a minimum of 37 years in prison after being found guilty in a heroin trafficking case in Watauga County.
24-year-old Avery Tyrez Forney was convicted of two counts of trafficking in heroin and one count of conspiracy to traffic in heroin. A Watauga County jury found Forney guilty as charged after a four-day trial.
The convictions were the result of an undercover operation conducted by the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office on May 20, 2015. The Sheriff’s Office worked with a confidential informant to arrange the delivery of two ounces, or approximately 567 dosage units, of heroin from Charlotte. The defendant and his two accomplices arrived in the suspect vehicle later that evening.
When confronted by law enforcement, the suspects threw heroin and a firearm from the vehicle as they led officers on a high-speed chase into downtown Boone. The Boone Police Department responded and successfully stopped the vehicle without any injuries.
The Honorable Gary M. Gavenus, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge, sentenced Forney to a minimum of 37 years, and a maximum of 47 years in prison. Forney was also fined $1.5 million.
One person was killed in a wreck in Catawba County Tuesday evening (December 6). The North Carolina State Highway Patrol told WHKY the accident occurred at 6:22 p.m. Tuesday on U.S. 70. The crash occurred at the traffic light at the entrance to the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds in Newton.
According to Highway Patrol, the driver of a minivan was killed in the collision. Reports say a pickup truck ran a red light and crashed into the minivan. A Highway Patrol spokesperson said the driver of the truck was impaired when his vehicle collided with the minivan.
A woman and two children who were in the minivan were taken to the hospital. The extent of their injuries was not known. The Catawba County Detention Facility website shows the arrest of 31-year-old Zachariah Arthur Carl of Burns Drive in Newton. He was arrested Tuesday by Highway Patrol and charged with second degree murder without regard, driving while impaired, fail to stop for a steady red light, driving while license revoked, and possession of an open container. The Highway Patrol spokesman contacted by WHKY this morning could not confirm if Carl’s arrest was connected to the fatal accident in this story. We will keep you updated.
The Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office is investigating a case in which a 50-year-old woman was attacked and beaten at about 1:30 p.m. last Friday (December 2). The incident took place at a residence on Mollys Backbone Road, near the new “Village at Sherrills Ford” development.
The victim was home alone when two subjects broke in, beat her until she was unconscious and ransacked her home. Her dog attacked the men and bit them, but then the dog was also beaten.
After she regained consciousness, the woman went to a neighbor’s house and called for help. She was taken to the hospital for treatment of bruises and minor injuries to her head. She has since been released. The dog is also reported to be in good health.
The residence appeared to have been ransacked, but it does not appear at this time that anything was taken. The investigation is ongoing.
As of Tuesday afternoon, no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at 828-465-8349.
A Connelly Springs man will spend a minimum of 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual offenses with children during Burke County Superior Court on Monday (December 5).
35-year-old Richard Keith Stevens entered the guilty plea to four counts of statutory sex offense and one count of statutory rape. He was given an active prison sentence of 35 to 52 years in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County.
The sexual offenses involved one male and two female victims, and the sexual acts began in 2005 when all of them were approximately five to seven-years-old. The sexual abuse continued for all three victims until they came forward and disclosed the offenses in November 2014.
Stevens engaged in sexual acts with the victims - now ages 18, 15 and 9 - and often recorded the encounters.
The case was investigated by Isaac Propst of the Burke County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Gingerbread House Child Advocacy Center in Morganton. Frank Webster handled prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors for the State announced during Catawba County Superior Court on Monday (December 5), that they will not pursue capital punishment in the murder case against 38-year-old Thomas Gregory Ball of Hickory. However, he still faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.
His brother, 27-year-old Rodney Adam Ball of Cedar Bluff, Va., also faces a murder charge in the death of 78-year-old Benny Daniels of Long View.
The brothers are accused of killing Daniels, whose body was found in a shallow grave on his property on Wednesday, October 12, 2016, after he had been missing since October 8. They were arrested and charged in connection with the murder and concealment of Daniels’ body.
Investigation of the case continues by the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
A small earthquake hit Caldwell County Monday night. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the 2.1 magnitude quake occurred shortly before 10 p.m. approximately ten miles north of Lenoir. No damage is reported as a result of the incident.
According to the USGS, the earthquake was nearly three miles below ground. Officials say that the quake was small but powerful enough to rattle dishes. Nine people reported the quake to operators of the website earthquaketrack.com.
Geological Officials say there are several fault lines in North Carolina.
35-year-old Amanda Kay Loftin of West 7th Street in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (December 5) on one felony count each of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and speeding to elude arrest. She was also arrested on outstanding warrants issued early last month for misdemeanor D.W.I. and hit & run with property damage.
Loftin was taken into custody on Caldwell Street in Granite Falls at about 1:30 a.m. today. She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $52,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
30-year-old Jessie Allen Adams of Carolina Mill Circle in Lincolnton has been arrested by Lincolnton Police on charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
At about 9:15 last night (December 5), Patrol Officers were dispatched to a reported armed robbery at the One Stop store, 401 West Main Street in Lincolnton. Upon arrival, Officers spoke with the clerk who said an unidentified white male wearing a mask and armed with a large knife robbed the store of an undisclosed amount of money.
Sgt. Dennis Harris and Det. Brandon Hunsucker from Lincolnton’s Criminal Investigations and Narcotics divisions were called in to assist with the investigation. After processing the scene and canvassing the area, Officers developed several leads that led them to investigate Jessie Allen Adams, who lived in a neighborhood near the One Stop. Management at the One Stop promptly also provided Officers with video surveillance footage of the robbery.
Officers found Adams at his residence. Adams was in possession of the mask and clothing used in the robbery. Additionally, Adams had a significant amount of crack cocaine that was packaged for sale and delivery, as well as paraphernalia used to package the drugs. A small amount of U.S. currency was also found.
Adams was arrested and placed in the Lincoln County Jail under a $100,000 secured bond. A first appearance in Lincoln County District Court was set for this morning (December 6).
Adams has previous convictions in Lincoln County for felony breaking & entering, felony attempted first-degree burglary, felony second-degree burglary, felony larceny, possession of marijuana, misdemeanor larceny, simple assault and D.W.I.
38-year-old Jennifer Lee Cole and 34-year-old Josh Dene Cole, both of Rudisill Road in Newton, were arrested by Hickory Police yesterday afternoon (December 5). Jennifer Cole was charged with felony obtaining property by false pretenses and Josh Cole was charged with aiding & abetting obtaining property by false pretenses. Both were charged with misdemeanor larceny.
They were arrested after Police responded to a larceny call at the Target store on Catawba Valley Boulevard in Hickory. A Loss Prevention Officer saw Josh Cole select Cat & Jack toddler socks and a Minnie Mouse dress, valued at $20. He took the items from the store without paying.
A short time later, Jennifer Cole brought the items to customer service where she returned them in exchange for a gift card. The Coles then used the gift card to buy lunch at the Target café.
When H.P.D. arrived, they found the Coles and one other subject in a black Honda Accord in the parking lot, preparing to leave. The Coles were taken into custody without incident. The third subject was not charged.
The Coles were placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for each set at $1,000, secured. First appearances in District Court were scheduled today in Newton.
32-year-old Desta Theron Carson was arrested Monday (December 5) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony common law robbery. Carson was placed in jail in Morganton where bond on the robbery charge and charges previously filed against him is set at $50,000 secured. A court date is set for next Monday (December 12).
50-year-old Tina Louise Swink was arrested Monday (December 5) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony larceny. Swink was placed in jail in Morganton under $10,000 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (December 12).
Hickory City Council meets in regular session tonight (Tuesday, December 6). Council will elect a Mayor Pro Tem for the calendar year 2017 and will also appoint a City Attorney.
Under Reaffirmation and Ratification of Second Readings, Hickory City Council will vote on the acceptance of a pair of items involving temporary construction and permanent easement. In addition, Council will vote on the acceptance of a bid and the awarding of a contract to Hickory Sand Company for sanitary sewer improvements for the Central Business District Rehabilitation Project. All of the items listed under Reaffirmation and Ratification of Second Readings were approved unanimously on first reading.
City Council will hold a public hearing tonight to hear comments on a proposed voluntary contiguous annexation of property on 16th Street NE. Under Departmental Reports, Council will hear the annual code enforcement update, and will also make appointments to boards and commissions.
Tonight's Hickory City Council meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building, 76 North Center Street in Hickory.
55-year-old James Fredrick Whisnant was arrested Monday (December 5) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony exploitation of an elder or disabled adult. Whisnant was placed in jail in Morganton under $15,000 secured bond. A Superior Court date is set for January 30.
A man was taken into custody for allegedly impersonating an officer. Last Friday (December 2) Detectives with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation regarding a suspect misrepresenting himself as a law enforcement officer. The reporting party told officers that earlier that day a man came to his residence identifying himself as a Detective. The suspect walked around a vehicle in the victim’s yard and informed the victim the vehicle was stolen property and he would be returning later to pick it up. The victim told officers the suspect was wearing a police style badge around his neck.
Burke Detectives developed as a suspect Harry “Jason” Gardner from Lenoir. Authorities in Burke County contacted the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office and the Lenoir Police Department advising them of this incident. Last month Burke County Detectives had been working closely with Caldwell County Detectives on a string of vehicle thefts. One of the thefts was a 2006 red Dodge Dakota truck which had not yet been recovered.
On Monday (December 5) at the request of Burke County Detectives, Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers found a red Dodge Dakota at Gardner's residence. They confirmed this truck was the same one that had been reported stolen last month. Gardner was taken into custody and at the time of his arrest was wearing a police style badge around his neck. Charges against Gardner are forthcoming.
31-year-old Joey Michael Curlee and 30-year-old Jessica Renee Anderson were both arrested Sunday (December 4) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. Both suspects are charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property, and breaking and entering to a motor vehicle. Anderson was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
On Sunday deputies responded to a suspicious vehicle on Seagrove Drive. Once deputies were on scene they discovered that the vehicle was reported stolen early that morning. While the area was being canvassed, an officer spotted a male and female matching the description of the suspects. Deputies detained the man and woman, and during a search, they found several items that had been reported stolen early that morning from the Bay Harbor area in Mooresville.
A wallet belonging to a resident of Mecklenburg County was also found, and a deputy contacted authorities there and confirmed that some of the items that were in Anderson’s possession was reported stolen from Mecklenburg County.
Curlee received a $40,000 bond. Anderson received a $16,000 bond. Both suspects were detained in the Iredell County Detention Center, they each have District Court dates December 21.
28-year-old Alan Wayne Yost was arrested Monday (December 5) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony larceny of a motor vehicle, along with misdemeanor counts of breaking and entering, assault on a government official, larceny, and injury to personal property.
Shortly after 1:30 a.m. Monday, Deputies responded to a report of a breaking and entering in progress at 451 Cool Spring Road. Upon arrival, Deputies Summers, Jarvis and Talbert spotted Alan Wayne Yost attempting to leave the scene in a silver Ford Mustang. Deputies ordered Yost out of the vehicle but he refused to comply with commands.
Officers engaged in a brief struggle while attempting to apprehend Yost. According to a news release, during the struggle, Yost assaulted one of the deputies resulting in a significant injury to the deputy’s hand. Further investigation led to the discovery that the vehicle the suspect was operating was allegedly stolen by Yost earlier in the night from 256 Bostian Lake Road. The vehicle stereo system had been heavily damaged and removed.
Yost was transported to the Iredell County Detention Center where he received a $15,000 secured bond. He's scheduled to appear in District Court December 21. The vehicle was returned the registered owner.
30-year-old Khalfani Sharron Coulter of Carpenter’s Cove Road in Claremont and 34-year-old Donte Rassan Gore of 20th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory were both arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:30 last night (December 4). They were each charged with one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense.
They were arrested after Officers spoke to a female victim who lost her cell phone at Lowe’s Hardware. The suspects contacted the victim and attempted to sell the phone back to her. Police then tracked the phone to Digital Link on Fairgrove Church Road where they arrested both suspects. The phone was recovered.
Both men were placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for each set at $4,000, secured. First appearances in District Court were scheduled today in Newton.
25-year-old Donshea Martel Smith, who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, was arrested by Hickory Police just before 3 p.m. Saturday (December 3) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance.
He was arrested in connection to an incident on August 23 of this year when Police responded to the Sunny Valley apartment complex on 3rd Avenue S.E. in Hickory. An anonymous caller reported the use of illegal narcotics in an apartment there. Officers found 0.7 grams of crack cocaine in the apartment.
Warrants for Smith’s arrest were issued last month. He was taken into custody without incident Saturday at the same apartment in Sunny Valley. Smith was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. An appearance in Superior Court was scheduled today in Newton.
44-year-old Yuronna Jamell Bonds of 8th Avenue Drive S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday (December 4) on two felony counts of habitual larceny and one felony count of possession of cocaine.
She was arrested after Police responded to a shoplifting incident at the Stein Mart store on North Center Street. A black male and a black female left the store in a blue Dodge Durango with a number of items they didn’t pay for. Police later found the vehicle in the parking lot at Blue Ridge Heights on the 900 block of 2nd Street Court S.W.
In an apartment there, Officers found the male subject and a number of items that were taken from Stein Mart, including watches, billfolds, cologne, jeans and bracelets. During that time, the female subject, Yuronna Jamell Bonds, approached the parking lot where she was taken into custody. A small bag containing 0.8 grams of powder cocaine was also found.
Bonds was taken into custody without incident. The male subject has not been charged at this time. Bonds was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $12,500 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.
A juvenile is charged in connection with the shooting death of a man in Granite Falls. According to published reports, the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office reported that on Friday (December 2) they responded to a home in the 4600 block of Estes Lane for a welfare check.
When they arrived, the published reports say officers found the body of 48-year-old Joseph Scott Bolick Sr. inside the home with multiple gunshot wounds.
Investigators say a juvenile was taken into custody and charged in connection to this incident. No names or specific charges had been released as of this afternoon (Monday, December 5).