The North Carolina Department of Justice reports there's a new twist on an IRS scam.
Many residents of North Carolina have received the call, which is a recorded message from someone claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service or Treasury Department. The caller threatens you with arrest if back taxes are not paid immediately. If you return the call you’ll be instructed to use a money order, wire transfer or prepaid debit card, perhaps even an iTunes gift card, to send your payment. Sometimes the scam message is delivered by email instead of by phone.
Now the scammers are searching for potential victims via a new route: texts. The message begins “WARNING: Criminal Investigation Unit of the I.R.S. is filing lawsuit against you…”. It includes a phone number to call for more information, and continues “This is your last chance… arrest warrant will be forwarded to local police…”.
Regardless of which method scammers use to try to scare you into paying money you don’t owe, remember: government agencies like the I.R.S. would never threaten you with immediate arrest, or demand that you make payment using iTunes gift cards, money orders, or wire transfers.
If you are contacted by an IRS scammer, you can report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint online. If you think you may have been a victim of an IRS scammer, file a report with the real I.R.S.
20-year-old J’Shaun Emanuel Steele of North Mulberry Street and 22-year-old Steven James Morrison of Freedom Park Drive, both from Statesville, were both arrested by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. Both suspects are charged with single counts of felony breaking and entering, felony larceny after breaking and entering, misdemeanor larceny, felony larceny of a motor vehicle, and felony obtaining property by false pretenses.
Last Thursday (February 16) the Sheriff’s Office received a phone call from a witness who stated that there were two subjects stealing a vehicle that was parked at 159 Third Creek Road in Statesville. Upon arrival Deputies found J’Shaun Emanuel Steele and Steven James Morrison, driving a white Chevrolet pickup truck while in the act of stealing a 1992 Mitsubishi pickup truck. The two subjects had tied a heavy rope from their vehicle to the Mitsubishi truck, and were pulling the vehicle from the residence to the street. The men were detained by officers.
During the investigation it was determined that the two men were also identified as the two suspects who had broken into a residence on February 14. The suspects reportedly admitted to that break-in. They said they had sold the stolen items to scrap yard.
Steele's bond was set at $6,000 secured. His next District Court appearance is scheduled for March 6. Morrison's bond was set at $5,000 secured. His next District Court appearance is scheduled for March 8.
31-year-old Johnathan Andrew Mayfield of Laurel Street in Valdese was arrested Monday (February 20) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two felony counts apiece of uttering a forged instrument and forgery of an endorsement, along with single felony counts of identity theft and obtaining property by false pretense. Mayfield was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $30,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, February 21).
47-year-old Rhonda J. Teague of Lanes Road in Vale was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance, and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place to keep controlled substance. Teague was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility this morning (Tuesday, February 21) under $10,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today.
32-year-old Angela Michelle Sullivan of Section House Road in Conover was arrested Monday (February 20) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with three counts apiece of the sale of heroin and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver heroin. Sullivan was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $22,500 bond. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, February 21).
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance is locating 14-year-old Madison Gilliland.
Ms. Gilliand is 5’3” tall, weighing 115 pounds. She has green eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing a camo-colored jacket, blue jeans and survivor boots.
Ms. Gilliland is considered a runaway juvenile and authorities believe she ran away voluntarily. At this time, authorities do not believe she is in danger. Ms. Gilliland is believed to be in the area of McDowell and Buncombe counties.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Madison Gilliland should contact the Burke County Sheriff’s Office at 828-438-5500.
According to published reports statewide, The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations, who is assisting in the investigation, says they were contacted regarding a man allegedly soliciting someone to engage in sex acts with a six-year-old. The SBI located the suspect, who was in possession of child pornography in Catawba County.
According to the published reports, agents realized the suspect was receiving sexually-explicit images from someone a source in South Africa. Homeland Security Investigation agents traced the instant messaging activity and money transfers to a home in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and that information was used to initiate a local investigation.
A 14-year-old girl was found and interviewed by authorities. She said a couple was sexually assaulting her and producing pictures and videos. The woman confessed to her and her husband's involvement in producing child pornography and sexually assaulting the child.
The 14-year-old girl and her two younger brothers were removed from the home and placed in protective custody. The couple was charged with multiple offenses related to the production of child pornography, sexual assault, rape and child abuse. No names are included in any of the reports on this case.
Corning Incorporated and its subsidiary, Corning Optical Communications LLC, announced today (Monday, February 20) that they will establish a new optical cable manufacturing facility in Newton in the former General Dynamics building on Prodelin Drive. The company plans to create at least 210 new jobs over the next two years and invest $67 million in this location.
Corning’s expansion in Newton is facilitated in part by an award to the company from North Carolina’s Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program that was approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee and announced today. Local incentives were approved today at a joint meeting of the Newton City Council and the Catawba County Board of Commissioners.
Corning Optical Communications (COC) is a worldwide provider of fiber optic communication solutions for voice, data and video networks. COC employs more than 3,000 people across five facilities throughout North Carolina, including two of the world’s largest fiber manufacturing facilities in Midland and Wilmington and two of the world’s largest fiber cabling facilities in Winston-Salem and Hickory.
Corning Optical will hire a variety of workers needed at the new manufacturing operations, including operators, distribution staff, maintenance personnel and other workers. Salaries will vary by position, but the average annual compensation for the company’s new jobs will be $56,963, above the Catawba County average wage of $39,774.
For more information about Corning Optical Communications, including job opportunities, visit www.corning.com.
51-year-old Janice Denise Ramseur of 3rd Avenue S.E. in Hickory was served bills of indictment by Hickory Police early Saturday morning on one felony count of conspiracy to sell or deliver cocaine. She was also charged as an habitual felon. The warrants for her arrest were issued on February 6.
Ramseur was taken into custody at 6:35 a.m. in a residential area on 10th Avenue S.E. in Hickory. She was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $40,000 secured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was scheduled today (February 20) in Newton.
24-year-old Kaila Ollie Corvin of Teaberry Lane and 26-year-old Taryn Michelle McCurry of West 1st Street, both from Newton, have both been arrested in connection to an armed robbery that took place early Saturday morning in Hickory. Corvin was charged with felony robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons, while McCurry was charged with flony aiding & abetting armed robbery.
The incident happened at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday in a room at the Red Roof Inn, just of Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard in Hickory. Two male victims met the two women at the hotel room. Corbin allegedly pulled a handgun and took cash and a cell phone from one victim. The second victim did not with to press charges. It’s not known what, if anything, was taken from him.
The suspects left the hotel, but were stopped by Newton Police just before 9 a.m. the same day. They were both taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for each set at $2,500, secured. They have since been released. First appearances in District Court were scheduled today (February 20) in Newton.
Hickory Police are investigating a shooting that took place in downtown Hickory early Saturday morning. A 41-year-old male victim sustained a gunshot wound and was treated at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory.
Events leading to the shooting began with an altercation at Randolph Billiards. At about 30 minutes past midnight, the parties involved encountered each other again after leaving the business, in the area of 1st Street S.W. and 2nd Avenue S.W. The suspect fired his weapon at the sidewalk and a ricochet hit the victim.
No arrests have been made and there are no suspects at this time. Anyone with information should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.
31-year-old Jessica Reann Day of Justin Carlton Lane in Lenoir was arrested Saturday (February 18) by Lenoir Police Officers. She's charged with possession of methamphetamine. Day was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $20,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, February 20).
A Statesville Police Officer was victimized by thieves in Hickory some time over the weekend.
A Glock 23 handgun, a range bag, hearing protection, two flashlights, two magazines and other ammunition was stolen from the Officer’s personal vehicle. The stolen items have a total estimated value of $915.
The theft occurred between 12:40 Friday afternoon (February 17) and 10 a.m. on Sunday. It’s not clear at this time if the vehicle was unlocked or if it was broken into.
On Friday, the Officer went to a shooting range on Springs Road and then ran several other errands. He did not initially notice that the items were missing. The victim believes the theft may have occurred in a parking lot near Harbor Freight on Highway 70 S.E.
Anyone with information should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.
31-year-old Joshua Garris Hamby of Yadkin View Drive in Ferguson was arrested Saturday (February 18) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony flee to elude arrest. Hamby was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, February 20).
35-year-old Jessica Renea Norman was arrested Friday (February 17) by authorities in Burke County. She's charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II controlled substance. Norman was arrested at the intersection of Sanford Drive and Tate Street in Morganton. She was placed in jail under $10,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for April 3.
An accidental shooting in Catawba County resulted in injuries to two boys. According to published reports, pellets from the boys' father's shotgun ricocheted off a wall and hit two of his children. The boys are ten and eight-years-old. Both have been treated and released from the hospital. The father has been charged in the incident.
At 2:53 p.m. Sunday (February 19), Hickory firefighters were dispatched to 1225 14th Street Drive NE. Firefighters responded with two engines, one ladder, one rescue truck, and two command units.
Firefighters arrived on the scene to find heavy fire coming from the rear of the structure. Fire crews established a water supply and began to extinguish the fire on rear of the structure as other crews prepared to make entry into the residence to conduct a search to make sure everyone was out. All occupants were able to exit the structure and the fire was under control at 3:12 p.m.
Catawba County EMS was on the scene to provide medical rehab for the firefighters and Hickory Police Department assisted blocking the roadway. The cause of the fire was from an unattended illegal burn at the back of the residence that spread to the open back porch and rear of the structure.
No injuries were reported and the occupants are staying with family members.
34-year-old Dustin Ross Watson of Hayes Waters Road in Morganton was arrested Sunday (February 19) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony discharge a firearm into occupied property. Watson was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $75,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, February 20).
27-year-old Ricky Chang Lee of 6th Avenue SE in Hickory was arrested Sunday (February 19) by Long View Police Officers. He's charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Lee was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $7,500 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, February 20).
34-year-old Gerardo Barragan Loeza of Eagle Crest Drive in Hamptonville was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two counts apiece of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver schedule II controlled substance, maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance, and sale and delivery of schedule II controlled substance. Loeza was jailed this morning (Monday, February 20) in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 bond. A District Court date is slated for March 21.