36-year-old Paul Richard Walton Jr. AKA "Pooh-Pooh" and "Pretty Paul" of East Catawba Street in Lincolnton, was arrested Thursday (September 1) by Lincolnton Police Officers. He's charged with five counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, five counts of selling cocaine, and five counts of delivering cocaine.
On Thursday at approximately 2:30 p.m., detectives and patrol officers with the Lincolnton Police Department and detectives with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office arrested Walton at his residence. The arrest is the result of a three month investigation into Walton and his associates and their illegal drug distribution in the Oaklawn community. The investigation was initiated after the Lincolnton Police Department received several complaints from citizens.
Walton was placed in the Lincoln County Jail under one-million dollars secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today (Friday, September 2).
The case is still under investigation and more charges and arrests are expected. If anyone has any information about this case or any other narcotics or criminal case, please call the Lincolnton Police Department at (704) 736-8900 or contact the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Crimestoppers at (704) 736-8909.
We have more information on an arrest we first reported on Thursday on WHKY. 27-year-old Colton James Mostacato of 20th Avenue NE in Hickory was arrested Wednesday (August 31) by Hickory Police Officers. He was picked up on warrants out of Burke County charging him with felony indecent liberties with a child, solicitation of a child by electronic device for a sexual act and disseminating obscene material to a minor.
On August 16 the Burke County Sheriff’s Office was contacted in reference to allegations of impropriety with a minor child by Colton James Mostacato. The report alleged that Mostacato had attempted to initiate an illicit affair with a minor child through various social media outlets. A news release from the Burke County Sheriff's Office says during this attempt, Mostacato sent lewd sexually themed materials, solicited the minor for nude photos and tried to arrange a meeting with the minor child for the express purpose of performing sex acts.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office, working in conjunction with the minor’s family, were able to infiltrate and prevent the incident from escalating further. Mostacato was taken into custody by the Hickory Police Department Wednesday at his place of employment without incident. He was taken before a magistrate and arraigned on his charges, where he received a $50,000.00 secured bond. Mostacato was not listed as an inmate in either Catawba or Burke County as of this morning (Friday, September 2). He was scheduled to appear in District Court in Morganton yesterday (Thursday, September 1), no upcoming court dates are listed.
Chadwick D. Smith has joined the 25th Prosecutorial District as an Assistant District Attorney.
Hired by District Attorney David Learner, Smith was sworn in as the 25th Prosecutorial District’s newest Assistant District Attorney on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, by the Honorable Robert T. Sumner, Superior Court Judge from Gaston County.
He will be working out of the Catawba County office in Newton handling matters in District Court.
Smith has spent 16 years in private practice, working in the Raleigh-Durham area for two years and in Mecklenburg for the last 14.
“We’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to employ a man of Mr. Smith’s ability,” Learner said. “He has significant trial experience that he will bring to bear in this position as Assistant District Attorney.”
Originally from Walnut Cove in Stokes County, Smith received his Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science with a concentration in Government and a minor in U.S. History from Campbell University in 1997. He earned his Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University in 2000.
Smith and his wife Amy have been married since 1997.
Up to 75 new jobs will be coming to Newton as a result of a North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) Grant.
Temprano Techvestors was recently awarded an RIA grant totaling $253,750 toward a total investment of up to $520,000. Temprano will locate its headquarters in Newton and will renovate an outdated office building into a state-of-the-art facility to support tech sales, marketing, support, and engineering jobs.
The company says they are committed to hiring employees this year and expects to create up to 75 new positions during the next three years. The average wage of the jobs at Temprano will pay 110 percent above the average income per capita in the county. The new positions include technology sales and marketing, software engineering, as well as technology support and implementation roles.
Temprano helps emerging market software companies bring their products to market in North America. To support that effort, Temprano plans to add new, high-tech jobs as part of its expansion. The business was founded by Luke Walling, a longtime Catawba County resident, creator of several successful local startups such as Walling Data Systems, and angel investor.
The building that will house Temprano is located at 2105 Northwest Boulevard. Blackwelder's Furniture originally constructed the building in the 1940s. Walling Development purchased it in 2007. Much of the original structure was demolished and rebuilt to honor its original look, including retaining the original bow trusses and general building profile. Walling Data moved into the space in late 2008 and was acquired by AVG Technologies in 2009. AVG occupied the 8,000-square-foot space until April 2016, when Temprano chose the space for its new endeavor.
For more information about Temprano, visit www.temprano.com.
54-year-old James Edward Danner of South Ervin Avenue in Newton was arrested by Newton Police yesterday (August 31) on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. Danner is wanted in Brunswick County, Virginia for felony forgery of a public record. The offense allegedly occurred in June of 2009.
Danner was processed and released under a $500 unsecured bond. He was scheduled to make an appearance in District Court today in Newton.
25-year-old Jeremy Kyle "Big Country" Goodrich of 14th Street Place N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before 7 p.m. yesterday (August 31) for two felony probation violations. He is on probation as the result of a conviction two weeks ago in Alexander County for felony possession of a schedule I controlled substance.
Goodrich was taken into custody near the intersection of North Center Street and 29th Avenue N.E. in Hickory. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $25,000 secured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was scheduled for September 6 in Newton.
32-year-old Colton James Mostacato of 20th Avenue N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police yesterday (August 31) on warrants out of Burke County for felony indecent liberties with a child, solicitation of a child by electronic device for a sexual act and dissemination to minors under the age of 16.
Mostacato was taken into custody without incident at 4:30 Wednesday in the vicinity of the Valley Hills Mall on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. He was transported to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $50,000 secured bond. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow in Morganton.
No further details are available.
44-year-old Donna Jay Wasson and 47-year-old Elizabeth Annette Pope, both of the same Aderholdt Road, Lincolnton address, were arrested Wednesday (August 31) by Lincolnton Police Officers. Wasson is charged with one felony count of common law robbery and two felony counts of conspire to commit burglary. Pope is charged with two felony counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and two felony counts of conspire to commit burglary.
The Lincolnton Police Department Criminal Investigations and Narcotics Division have been investigating three separate home invasion robberies in northern Lincolnton. These home invasions have targeted Hispanic male victims that lived in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods. The investigation has been ongoing since mid-August. Earlier this week we reported the arrests of two suspects in connection with this investigation, David Nixon Jr. and Issac Julius Gillespie.
Wasson was placed in the Lincoln County Jail under $35,000 secured bond. Pope was jailed under $50,000 secured bond. They were both scheduled to appear in District Court today (Thursday, September 1).
30-year-old Samantha Renee Greene of NW Glendale Street in Lenoir was arrested Wednesday (August 31) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony counts of breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering. Greene was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, September 1).
19-year-old Bailey Colleen Presnell of Blackberry Road in Lenoir was arrested Wednesday (August 31) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with three felony counts of larceny of a motor vehicle, two felony counts of possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and misdemeanor larceny. Presnell was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $15,500 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, September 1).
35-year-old Jeremy Dean Yancey of Roger Hill Road in Connelly Springs was arrested Wednesday (August 31) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. Yancey was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under no bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, September 1).
Unemployment rates have decreased slightly in all of the Greater Hickory Metro area counties and across much of the state. The North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division released it's monthly report on Wednesday (August 31), detailing the July unemployment rates.
Catawba County's unemployment rate is at 4.7 percent, down from 4.9 in the last report. Alexander County stands at 4.3 percent, down from 4.5 in June. Burke County's jobless rate is now 5 percent even, down from 5.1 percent. Caldwell County has an unemployment rate of 5.1 percent, down from 5.3 percent in the last report.
The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area or MSA has an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent, down from 5 percent even in June. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton is tied for the fifth lowest jobless rate with three other MSAs. There are 15 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the state.
The statewide unemployment rate is 5 percent even, down from 5.1 percent in the last report. Jobless rates decreased in 90 of North Carolina's 100 counties, increased in two, and remained unchanged in eight. Scotland County has the state's highest unemployment rate at 9 percent even, Buncombe County has the lowest at 3.8 percent.
30-year-old Benjamin Draughon Williford of Hillandale Road in Boone was arrested by Watauga County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony first degree arson.
On Friday, August 12, the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at 5:38 a.m. in reference to a structure fire located at Valle Landing on US Highway 194 South in Sugar Grove. Several agencies responded to the fire and upon their arrival, they discovered that the structure had been totally destroyed. One person was killed and five others were injured in the blaze. An investigation was launched into the cause of the fire. That probe resulted in the determination that the fire was intentionally set.
Benjamin Draughon Williford was identified as the suspect in the case. He was tracked to a motel room at Harrah's Cherokee Casino and Resort. The suspect's vehicle was found in the parking deck of that venue. Williford was arrested and transported back to Watauga County where he was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate and given a $500,000 secured bond and given a court date of October 20.
The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, the Watauga County Fire Marshall’s Office, Boone Fire Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms continue to investigate this incident. Watauga County Sheriff’s Office is continuing with ongoing collaboration and counsel with the District Attorney’s Office and additional criminal charges are expected in this incident.
16-year-old Jacob Tristan Parsons of Knox Avenue in Statesville has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of breaking & entering a motor vehicle and larceny after breaking & entering. A 15-year-old black male and a 13-year-old white male are also connected to the same case.
Today (August 31), Deputies responded to the Bristol Road area where a citizen reported suspicious activity. Officers were aware that previous vehicle break-ins had been reported in the same area. Deputies searched the area and located three suspects, Jacob Parsons and the other two minors.
Evidence was found in the suspects’ possession that linked them to multiple vehicle break-ins that occurred during the night. Recovered property will be returned to the rightful owners.
In addition to the five vehicle break-ins the suspects allegedly committed in the early morning hours of August 31, evidence found in the suspects’ possession, together with other information gathered during the investigation, linked them to other cases in the area. Investigators believe the three are responsible for a total of 12 vehicle break-ins that occurred in the area of Bristol Road, Cline Street and Greer Street over a ten-day period.
Parsons was taken into custody. No court date is currently listed. The 13-year-old was released to his parents, while D.S.S. took custody of the 15-year-old. Detectives will seek charges against the minor suspects through Juvenile Services.
The investigation is ongoing. Authorities believe the suspects were involved in other, similar cases.
On August 26, 2016 an elderly eastern Lincoln County man lost $3,000 after falling prey to the telephone scam known as the “Grandparents or It’s Me” scam.
The 84-year-old victim was contacted by a female that he thought was his daughter who claimed to have been in a wreck and was arrested. The caller said she had to have $3,000 to get out of jail and gave the man a telephone number she said was a law firm in Jacksonville, Florida. The victim called the number and was instructed to go to Walgreen’s and get $3,000 worth of Amazon gift cards and call them back. The man did as he was told and gave the scam artist the card account numbers. That person said he would get his daughter out of jail but simply cashed in the account numbers.
The man tried to call his daughter after he had given the scam artist the account numbers but the call went to her voice mail. While the deputy was taking the report the woman called her father and told him she was OK and was never in jail.
This incident serves as a reminder to beware of telephone scams. Citizens should never blindly follow the directions of people who call them on the telephone. The scam targets elderly residents by people pretending to be a relative in distress. The best policy is to hang up on the caller and check on the relative.
Most of the gift cards or money orders are being purchased at businesses such as local pharmacies and stores like Walmart. Citizens are always encouraged to contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and have an officer confirm if they have a family member who is in jail or if there is some other possibility of a scam.
If you have a question about scams contact the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 and a deputy working your area will contact you to respond to any questions you may have. Our goal is trying to stop this crime from occurring if at all possible.
37-year-old John Thomas Miller was arrested Tuesday (August 30) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with being an habitual felon. Miller, who faces several charges, was being held in jail in Morganton under a total bond of $210,000 secured. A court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (September 1).
48-year-old Jody Jay Houck of Fairbanks Drive and 30-year-old Joshua Sherman Odum of Sleepy Hollow Road, both from Lenoir, were both arrested Tuesday (August 30) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. They're each charged with breaking and entering and felony larceny. Houck and Odum were both locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. They're both scheduled to appear in District Court Thursday (September 1).
48-year-old James Bryan Davis Jr. of Calico Road in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (August 30) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of stolen property. Following the arrest, Davis was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $15,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for Thursday (September 1).
34-year-old Jerry Ray Hefner was arrested Tuesday (August 30) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony first degree forced burglary. Hefner was arrested at a location on South Green Street in Morganton. Following the arrest, Hefner was placed in jail under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Wednesday, August 31).
The Labor Day weekend marks traditional end of summer vacation and many North Carolinians will be traveling and gathering with family and friends. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol wants everyone to make safety a top priority this holiday weekend by encouraging motorists to drive carefully and obey all traffic laws.
To ensure a safe driving environment for motorists, the Highway Patrol will increase patrols on all North Carolina highways during the holiday weekend. Troopers will be looking for impaired drivers, speeders and careless and reckless drivers as well as assisting motorists in need. The Labor Day holiday period officially begins at 6:00 p.m., Friday, Sept. 2, and ends at 11:59 p.m., Monday, Sept. 5.
Last year in North Carolina, troopers investigated 10 fatal collisions and 365 injury collisions over the Labor Day weekend. Three of those collisions were attributed to impaired driving.
According to the Center for Disease Control, from 2003 to 2012, over 4,000 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in North Carolina alone. To reduce needless deaths from occurring, in 2015 troopers made over 21,000 arrests for driving while impaired. Despite these efforts, the Highway Patrol is asking motorists to do their part as well.
The best way to prevent someone from driving drunk is to make a plan for a sober designated driver, and make sure everyone agrees to it ahead of time. If you are faced with a situation where someone who’s impaired is trying to drive, here are some tips on how to stop them:
Be as non-confrontational as possible.
Suggest alternate ways of getting to their destination — a cab, a sober driver, public transportation.
Remember that the person you are talking to is impaired — talk a bit more slowly and explain things more fully than if you were speaking to a sober person.
Explain that you don’t want them to drive because you care and you don’t want them to hurt themselves or others.
Suggest that they sleep over.
Enlist a friend to help you or to act as moral support — it’s more difficult to say “no” to two (or three or four) people than one.
If possible, get the person’s keys. It is far easier to persuade the potential driver when you hold this leverage.
If all else fails, call law enforcement. It’s better to have a friend arrested than injured or killed.
If you observe someone who you believe to be driving while impaired or driving in a careless and reckless manner, please dial *HP or *47. The call is toll free and callers should be prepared to assist the dispatcher by giving a description of the vehicle, the license plate number, location, and direction of travel.