Search Nets Drugs

Press Release

Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the June 14th, 2018 arrest of 36 year old Stephen Louis Weston, a Murphy North Carolina man on numerous charges for violations of the North Carolina Controlled Substance Act.

On June 7, 2018 the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit received information from the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway Drug Task Force that Weston was a target of an ongoing investigation in which Weston was suspect in the sale and delivery of controlled substances. That information provided by the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway Drug Task Force enabled members of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit and the Murphy Police Department to conduct a search of the residence of Stephen Louis Weston located at 43A Tennessee Street. During the search of the residence, over 4 ounces of Cocaine, approximately 21 grams of Methamphetamine, 5 ounces of Marijuana, Diazepam, and MDMA (Ecstacy) pills were seized. Weston, at the time, was incarcerated in Georgia on narcotic related charges.

On June 14th, 2018 members of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit received information that Weston was vacating his residence on Tennessee Street. After setting up surveillance a traffic stop on the U Haul vehicle that Weston was operating was made to make the arrest of Weston. During a search incident to arrest of Weston’s person and in the vehicle he was operating located several Hydrocodone tablets and marijuana residue.

Weston was arrested and booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center on a $105,000.00 secure bond for the following charges: POSS W/I MANUF/SELL/DEL SCHEDULE II CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, MAINTAIN PLACE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, FELONY POSSESSION MARIJUANA, TRAFFICKING IN COCAINE, POSS W/I MANUF/SELL/DEL SCHEDULE II CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, POSS W/I MANUF/SELL/DEL SCHEDULE VI CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, SIMPLE POSSESSION SCHEDULE IV. Weston is expected to be in Cherokee County District Court on June 26th, 2018.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated “We appreciate the useful information from the Georgia Task Force that enabled us to get a good sized amount of drugs off the street.”

To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

Marble Man In Jail for Drugs

Press Release

Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer June 16th, 2018 arrest of 46 year old Derrick William Wilson of Marble North Carolina for possessing illegal controlled substances.

On June 16th, 2018 shortly before 5:30 am, deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to investigate a traffic hazard where vehicles were parked in the travelled portion of the roadway just off Highway 64 in the Ranger Community of Cherokee County. During the investigation several individuals were found around a camp fire. Deputies also found a tent near the camp fire with an individual snoring. In the process of checking the welfare of the individual the deputies found methamphetamine, Xanax, and morphine lying in plain view next to Wilson who was the sole occupant of the tent at the time.

Wilson was arrested on scene and transported to the Cherokee County Detention Center for charges of PWIMSD SCH II CS, PWIMSD SCH IV CS, SIMPLE POSSESSION SCHEDULE II CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, POSSESS DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. Wilson is currently confined in the Cherokee County Detention Center on a $25,000.00 secure bond and is expected to be in Cherokee County District Court on June 26th, 2018.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated “Good work by the deputies who responded to the call. We continue our fight to control the drug problem in Cherokee County.”

To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

Ex Detention Officer and Inmate Charged

Press Release

Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the June 7th, 2018 arrest of 48 year old Kathy Carlene Leitner, and 42 year old Barry Wade Allen, both of Murphy North Carolina on charges involving the possession of a mobile phone in a detention facility.

On or about April 24th, 2018 the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation into allegations that previous Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Detention Officer Kathy Leitner had brought a mobile phone into the Detention Facility and had given it to incarcerated inmate Barry Wade Allen.

During the investigation information became known that Leitner and Allen had become involved in an inappropriate relationship which included several voice calls and letters exchanged between the two. Sometime during the months of January to April 2018 Leitner brought a mobile phone into the detention facility and gave it to Allen. Additionally, information became known that Leitner had conveyed a message to Allen from another inmate in which Allen was to harm a third inmate. At the time of the allegations Allen is charged with Child Sexual assaults. This information was presented to the June 4th. 2018 Grand Jury who handed down indictments on both Leitner and Allen. Kathy Leitner was arrested on June 7, 2018 and taken before the North Carolina Magistrate who set a $15,000.00 secure bond. She is currently incarcerated in the Cherokee County Detention Center. Barry Wade Allen, is currently in the Macon County Detention Center was served on July 07th, 2018 and given additional bond. Both Allen and Leitner were also given conditions of bond to have no contact with each other until after the matter is settled in court. Both are expected to be in Cherokee County Superior Court on July 02nd, 2018.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated “This conduct can never be tolerated and will not be. We strive to maintain high standards of professionalism.”

To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

Georgia Woman Charged with Child Abuse

Press Release

Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the June 5th, 2018 arrest of Elisha Keri Lowman, a 28 year old Ellijay Georgia woman for possession of methamphetamine and child abuse.

On June 5th, 2018 a Deputy with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office observed Lowman operating a vehicle in which she committed a traffic violation. While the Deputy was investigating the traffic violation he observed in plain view an article of paraphernalia. A second Deputy arrived on scene and found a container that had a small amount of methamphetamine. Lowman was arrested for the possession of the illegal substance.

During the traffic stop the deputies found three small children in the car along with a pit bull. A Cherokee County Department of Social Services worker came to the scene and arranged for the children to go home with a relative at the request of Lowman. The pit bull was brought to the Sheriff’s Office where it was kept until another relative of Lowman could come get it.

Lowman was taken to the Cherokee County Detention Center where she was taken before the North Carolina Magistrate set a $5,000.00 bond. Lowman is currently incarcerated awaiting either bond or a June 12th, 2018 District Court date.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated “Good work by the deputies both with getting the drugs off the street and making it safe for the children. We also thank the Cherokee County Department of Social Services for their assistance in the matter.”

To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

Sex Offender Arrested for Failing to Report New Address

Press Release

Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the May 31st, 2018 arrest of Michael Anthony Cantrell, a 31 year old Murphy North Carolina for violation of the sex offender registry.

During the month of May 2018 deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office were making verification checks of individuals that are currently registered on the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry and living in Cherokee County North Carolina. During the checks information became known that Michael Anthony Cantrell was no longer living at his registered address which had been in the Hiwassee Dam Community of Cherokee County. Deputies began a search and we able to locate Cantrell at a new residence in the town of Murphy. Cantrell was arrested and confined in the Cherokee County Detention Center.

Cantrell has made a $10,000.00 secure bond and is scheduled to be in Cherokee County District Court on June 12th. 2018.

Michael Cantrell was convicted in Cherokee County Superior Court in December of 2011 of two counts of Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (being in possession of child exploitation images or videos commonly referred to as child pornography).

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated “Excellent team work in bringing Cantrell back in compliance. This is part of the reason we enlist the help of our community to help ensure these individuals maintain their responsibilities pertaining to the Sex Offender Registry.”

To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

Traffic Stop Nets Drugs

Press Release

Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the June 06th, 2018 arrest of Makayla Louise Trentham a 20 year old Copperhill Tennessee woman for possession of illegal controlled substances.

On or about June 06th, 2018 a deputy while on patrol observed a vehicle which was being driven in a manner that was suspicious. The deputy made an investigative stop. During the stop a small amount of suspected methamphetamine and several alprazolam (Xanax) tablets were confiscated. Investigation revealed that Trentham was in possession of the illegal substances.

Trentham was arrested and brought to the Cherokee County Detention Center where she posted a $1,000.00 secure bond and is expected to be in Cherokee County District Court on June 12th, 2018.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated “Even small amounts being taken off the streets is worth it. Good work by the deputy for being alert and looking farther into the situation.”

To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

Former Cherokee County NC Teacher Arrested for Sex Acts with Student

Press Release

Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the June 7th, 2018 arrest of Kayla Alayne Sprinkles, a 26 year old Hayesville North Carolina woman for a sexual assaults on a student.

On or about March 26th, 2018 the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation into a report that Kayla Sprinkles, had engaged in sex acts with a student while employed as a teacher in a high school for the Cherokee County Schools System. During the investigation several search warrants were executed in which items of evidence were collected. Additionally numerous individuals were interviewed who provided information relevant to the case. The HAVEN Child Advocacy Center assisted in some of the interviews due to the age of the individuals interviewed.

Information was presented to the June 04th, 2018 Cherokee County Grand Jury which handed down a five count indictment for Sex Activity With a Student. Apparently Sprinkles gained knowledge, possibly through a social media posting, of the existence of the indictments and left from the local area and surrendered herself to the Mecklenburg County Detention Center where she was served with the indictments and was released on a $25,000.00 unsecure bond. Sprinkles is expected to be in Cherokee County Superior Court on July 02, 2018.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated “Our youth and our students are one of the greatest resources that Cherokee County is blessed to have. It is incumbent upon all of us to ensure their safety and wellbeing as they grow and mature.”

Due to the nature of the crime and the age of the victim no further information will be released concerning this incident.

To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

Registered Sex Offender Charged with New Child Sex Offenses

Press Release

Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the June 6th, 2018 arrest of Ricardo Gamez Dockery, a 37 year old Murphy North Carolina man for a sexual assaults on children.

On or about May 07th, 2018 a report of suspected child sexual assault was taken by a deputy with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office which involved acts reportedly committed during the month of April 2018. Pursuant to that report an investigation was undertaken.

As the investigation was conducted the services of HAVEN CAC, and contracted Department of Social Services Investigators were utilized to further the investigation. The information from HAVEN CAC, the contracted DSS Investigators along with other information gathered during the investigation was presented to the June 4th, 2018 grand jury which returned true bills of indictment for Statutory Sexual Offense with a Child by an Adult and three counts of Indecent Liberties with a Child.

Ricardo Gamez Dockery was arrested at his residence in Clay County North Carolina where he had moved once the allegations were made. Dockery was taken before the North Carolina Magistrate where he is currently incarcerated in the Cherokee County Detention Center on a $560,000.00 secure bond. Dockery is expected to be in Cherokee County Superior Court on July 02nd, 2018.

Ricardo Gamez Dockery is currently a registered sex offender on the North Carolina Registry. Dockery was convicted of four counts of Indecent Liberties with a Minor in January of 2008.

Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated “We can not over stress the importance of the team concept in these terrible investigations. This further reinforces the need for continued monitoring of sex offenders.”

Due to the nature of the crime and the age of the victims no further information will be released concerning this incident.

To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-3144 or submit a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov.

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