Lee Country, North Carolina sheriff Tracy Carter blogs about current police issues and how the community can help. The posts are good examples of police/community relations and current law enforcement issues faced around the country.
Grass, and grass clippings, are about 85 percent water. And it doesn’t matter if those clippings are wet or dry when they’re in the street, they can be a danger to motorcyclists. When grass clippings come between a motorcycle’s tires and the pavement, bad things happen. Especially on curves, a motorcyclist needs a contact patch between the tires and the asphalt. You may have never thought about it, but grass clippings can act as a sheet of ice—in the middle of the summer. Motorcyclists may have to take safety measures to avoid wrecking. They may be forced to quickly slow down, switch lanes, or cross over a double yellow line to avoid grass clippings. Please ensure that you are not blowing grass into the street or highway. I'm asking all my friends and followers share this as a reminder to help our motorcycle community safely.
Countless times a week our department receives complaints of telemarketing or robo calls to their home or cellphone. There is little we can do about these calls unless a crime has been committed. My advice has always been, if you don't know who it is, don't answer. If it's an emergency, they'll leave a message...
Scammers today are using technology in their favor. From spoofing their caller ID to make it look like they are calling from a number in our community, to stating they are with the government and have a warrant for your arrest if you don't pay a fee over the phone. The list goes on and on.
Did you know that with current technology, some scammers will call and hang up on purpose, knowing that most people will call back and when they do, they are now added to a list of valid phone numbers, shared with other scamming systems?
Here are some reminders;
Never give out personal information over the phone – social security number, birthdate, etc. Maybe the caller claims to be with the IRS, your credit card company, etc...
Never give out bank account information over the phone. Many scammers will push for bank account info will either steer you away from or refuse credit card payment. We've seen where suspects are asking for Target or Walmart gift card numbers for payment! Really....
If you are pushed to make a decision quickly, wait. This is true for scams of all kinds. Usually, any kind of scammer will push you to make a quick decision right then and there. If you are being pushed to make a decision right now, take a step away and think about it. If they aren’t willing to let you take a day and think it over, it’s a huge red flag.
Last but not least, remember that Microsoft, the IRS, law enforcement, or any other legitimate company or organization will NEVER call you demanding payment over the phone. If you feel that you have been scammed, contact law enforcement immediately and file a report.
Summertime is here, and the last thing you need after a relaxing vacation is to return home and find that you have been a victim of a criminal act, especially a burglary. Here are a few tips that may keep you from being a victim.
-Remember to place your mail, packages, and newspaper on hold. Criminals notice when the mail piles up or newspapers are scattered on the lawn. Criminals know this is a good indication that you are out of town.
-Place your lights, televisions, and radios on timers. This provides the image that someone is home. Be sure to close all blinds to ensure a potential criminal does not have the ability to peer inside your residence and monitor activity.
-Remember to trim shrubs so they cannot hide potential burglary suspects. Exterior motion detector lights are also a great deterrent.
-Be sure to lock all doors, windows, garage doors, storage sheds, vehicles, and gates prior to leaving your residence.
-Remember to set your security alarm system if you have one. Test your system prior to leaving, to ensure it is functioning correctly. Ensure your personal contact information is also up-to-date; to ensure your alarm monitoring company has the ability to reach you.
-Have a close trustworthy friend or relative check on your residence while you are away. Give them the authority to call 9-1-1 if they notice anything suspicious.
-As excited as you may be to update your friends about your vacation on social media, you may strongly wish to reconsider. Remember, anyone that is able to access your social media profile, will gain insight that you are away on vacation. Potential criminals pay attention to these details and could attempt to break into your home while you are away. #StrongerCommunitesAreSaferCommunities
Many of you are likely enjoying these long summer days outside with your pets. Although this can be a fun time of the year for your furry friends, it’s also important to remember that higher temperatures mean higher risks for pets. To keep your pets safe, follow these precautions from experts at the ASPCA:
Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse.
Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle.
Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool — not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Open unscreened windows pose a real danger to pets, who often fall out of them. Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed, and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog. The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat.
When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pet’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
Remember that food and drink commonly found at barbecues can be poisonous to pets.
Cynthia Susan Gunter (58) of 7615 Steel Bridge Rd. Sanford was arrested for injury to personal property and cruelty to animals.
On 5/28/2019 @ 10:35PM, Bradley Beavers reported his coon hound was shot on Steel Bridge Rd. while practicing w/ his dog on leased property. The animal was found shot behind the residence of 7615 Steel Bridge Rd. Upon questioning the resident at 7615 Steel Bridge Rd., Cynthia Gunter, she admitting shooting the animal because it kept barking.
Tuesday afternoon June 4, 2019, at approximately 1:00pm Lee County Sheriff’s Office narcotics agents assisted North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper J. Cox with a traffic stop on south Horner Boulevard. NCSHP Trooper J. Cox had initiated a traffic stop for a seat belt violation and the operator pulled into the parking lot of the Circle K Store located at 812 South Horner Boulevard. Trooper Cox called for assistance after removing the operator later identified as Darius Leigh Dowdy from the vehicle due to strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle and the Dowdy’s erratic movements inside the vehicle. Once out the operator began to resist by pulling away from Trooper Cox. With the aid of a Good Samaritan, Trooper Cox was successful in taking Dowdy into custody.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office narcotics agents arrived shortly after and assisted with the search of the vehicle. Trooper Cox stated that in the course of the struggle, Dowdy had pulled a clear plastic bag from Dowdy’s front pants pocket and was attempting to get rid of the item. Agents assisted by going through the items that Dowdy tried to discard. Agents located one small clear plastic bag containing approximately .4 of gram of heroin, and two clear plastic bags containing approximately 25 grams of marijuana. Agents transported Dowdy top the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for processing.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics agents charged Darius Leigh Dowdy, age 31, of 390 West Forrest Oaks Drive, Sanford, with one count of felony possession with the intent to sell and deliver heroin, one count of felony possession with the intent to sell and deliver marijuana, one count of felony maintaining a motor vehicle for the purpose of storing and selling a controlled substance, and one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
Darius Leigh Dowdy was cited by NCSHP Trooper J. Cox for the seat belt violation, driving while license revoked, and resisting an officer. Darius Leigh Dowdy was jailed under a $21,000.00 secured bond.
On Monday June 3, 2019, Lee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics agents arrested Dana Renee Thomas, age 34, of 504 Johnson Cemetery Road, Sanford.
Agents located a suspicious vehicle in the area of Hidden Pond Ln. Agents initially found Thomas semi unconscious in the vehicle. Agents took Thomas into custody, after agents discovered Thomas was in possession of approximately ½ of a gram of heroin and ½ a gram of crystal methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia. Agents transported Thomas to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for processing.
Agents charged Thomas with one count of felony possession of heroin, one count of felony possession of methamphetamine, and one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Thomas was jailed under a $10,000.00 unsecured bond.
Thursday morning May 30, 2019, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division, Moore County Sheriff’s Office, US Marshals, ATF, FBI, Sanford Police Selective Enforcement Unit, and the Sanford Police Department Tactical Narcotic Team assisted North Carolina Probation and Parole, North Carolina Probation and Parole Special Operations and Intelligence Division with a search at 919 Lansing Street Sanford, NC.
A search of the offender’s bedroom netted approximately one gram of heroin, found in the pants pocket of Phillip Myles Patterson of Lansing Street. Lee County Agents transported Patterson back to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for processing.
Patterson was charged with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. Patterson was placed in the Lee County Detention Center under a $5000.00 secured bond.
Starting 5:30am Thursday morning May 30, 2019, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division, Moore County Sheriff’s Office, US Marshals, ATF, FBI, Sanford Police Selective Enforcement Unit, and the Sanford Police Department Tactical Narcotic Team assisted North Carolina Probation and Parole with numerous warrantless searches throughout Lee County.
At approximately 11:00am, Lee County Narcotics agents were assisting North Carolina Probation and Parole with a search at the residence located at 5612 Quail Ridge Drive when agents observed a man come out the rear entrance of the residence in a full sprint. After giving numerous unsuccessful commands to stop, agents gave chase. After a rather lengthy foot chase across numerous fairways, agents apprehended the fleeing subject. Agents identified the subject as Christopher Lee Toro, age 33 of 5612 Quail Ridge Drive, Sanford. Agents escorted Toro back to the residence.
In the meantime, probation officers conducted a search of the residence. Probation officers located a McDonald’s food bag that contained two makeup style bags inside. Probation advised agents of what was located and a further search of the contents revealed 34 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 6.6 grams of cocaine, and 39 dosage units of Suboxone. Lee County Sheriff’s Office agents applied for a search warrant and searched the entire residence. A search of the residence revealed a semi-automatic Taurus, model PT 140, .40 caliber pistol. Agents arrested David Christopher Winstead, Kristin Gray Poe, and Christopher Lee Toro, all residents of 5612 Quail Ridge Drive. Agents transported all individuals to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for processing and charges.
David Christopher Winstead, age 47, was charged with one count of trafficking methamphetamine, one count of possession with the intent to sell and deliver cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to sell and deliver a schedule III substance (Suboxone), one count of felony maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of storing and selling narcotics, one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, and one count of possession of a firearm by felon. David Christopher Winstead received a $200,000.00 secured bond.
Kristin Gray Poe, age 33, was charged with one count of trafficking methamphetamine, one count of possession with the intent to sell and deliver cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to sell and deliver a schedule III substance (Suboxone), one count of felony maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of storing and selling narcotics and, one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Kristin Gray Poe received a $150,000.00 secured bond.
Christopher Lee Toro, age 33, was charged with one count of trafficking methamphetamine, one count of possession with the intent to sell and deliver cocaine, one count of possession with the intent to sell and deliver a schedule III substance (Suboxone), one count of felony maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of storing and selling narcotics and, one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Christopher Lee Toro received a $200,000.00 secured bond and all were jailed in the Lee County Jail.
Meet us in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart in Sanford on Friday, June 14th, 2019 (2PM - 6PM) and help us stuff our Sheriff’s Office Community Services truck as we collect items for the Christian United Outreach Center (CUOC) “BackPack Pals” summer program! This summer program sends food home 2 times a week to more than 18 locations, feeding 400+ school kids in Lee County. We will also be collecting school supplies for the CUOC to pass out throughout the school year for Lee County students. Civic organizations & churches that would like to assist, please contact the CUOC during business hours!
Non-perishable - easy to prepare
Pop Tarts/Breakfast bars
Individual boxes/cups of cereal
Peanut butter crackers
Fruit cups/Applesauce/Pudding cups
Ramen Noodles/Cup of Soup
You can also drop your contributions off at the following locations during business hours
Lee Co Sheriff’s Office at 1401 Elm Street, Sanford
CUOC at 2885 Lee Ave, Sanford anytime throughout the school year.