Category Archives: CRIME

Armed robbery leads to prison term

XAVIER TAMAREE DSHAUN WHITE, 20

New Bern, North Carolina — District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, in Craven County Superior Court, XAVIER TAMAREE DSHAUN WHITE, 20, of New Bern, was convicted on his guilty plea to Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon (Armed Robbery), and was sentenced to a prison term.

On the evening of April 8, 2016, White, along with two co-defendants, planned a robbery of a delivery driver for a local pizza store. White, using a borrowed phone, called in an order and gave as the delivery address a vacant home which was for sale near his own residence. White and the two co-defendants then went to that residence, with one waiting inside to answer the door. White and the other defendant, armed with a handgun and shotgun respectively, waited outside and accosted the driver when she arrived at the delivery address. They threatened the use of the guns, leveling them at the driver and demanding money. They took the cash she had in her pockets and in her vehicle, as well as the food items.

The three persons involved were identified, found, and charged. The co- defendants, in response to police questioning, identified White as the ringleader. By the time police had caught up with the perpetrators, they had disposed of both firearms.

Prior to White’s case being called for trial, he entered a guilty plea to the armed robbery charge. Superior Court Judge Will Bland sentenced White to a prison term of 78 to 106 months (6 ½ to 8 ½ years). Upon White’s release from custody, he will be subject to nine months of post-release supervision, during which time his behavior will be monitored by a probation/parole officer.

The case was investigated by the New Bern Police Department, and prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney Robert J. McAfee.

Carteret drug enforcement efforts lead to more convictions

SCOTT E. THOMAS
DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Beaufort, North Carolina – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced the following defendants charged in ongoing Carteret County drug enforcement efforts entered guilty pleas prior to their cases being called for trial this week. The convictions were obtained during a special session of court, requested by District Attorney Thomas to address the caseload created by vigorous law enforcement efforts to counter illegal drug transactions. Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ben Alford presided over this special session of court, and the cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney David Spence.

MARIO JONES, 36, of Newport, pled guilty to Attempted Trafficking in Opiates, and admitted his status as an Habitual Felon. Judge Alford sentenced Jones to a prison sentence of 105 to 138 months. Jones had three prior convictions for Felony Breaking and Entering, and prior drug convictions. Jones assisted co-defendant Dwayne McCoo in supplying oxycodone tablets to an undercover informant working with an investigator with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office in October, 2015.


KANDICE KAHLEY, 33, of Beaufort, pled guilty to Trafficking in Opiates and received an active prison sentence of 70 to 93 months. Kahley sold oxycodone tablets to an undercover informant working with a detective with the Morehead City Police Department in October, 2015. The transaction took place in the parking lot of the Wal- Mart in Morehead City. Kahley and co-defendant Phillip Thackston fled to Indiana and had to be extradited back to North Carolina to face these charges. Thackston pled guilty last month and received a prison sentence of 70 to 146 months.


MIKAEL DEWAIN DIXON, 44, of Newport, pled guilty to Trafficking in Opiates and twelve other lesser felony drug offenses, and received an active prison term of 70 to 93 months. Dixon sold oxycodone tablets to an undercover informant working with investigators with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office in June and July, 2015.


MICHAEL JOHNSON, 45, of Beaufort, pled guilty to Sale and Delivery of Oxycodone, and received an active prison sentence of 13 to 25 months. Johnson sold five tablets to an undercover informant working with the Morehead City Police Department. Johnson was already on a probationary sentence when he committed this offense, and the probationary sentence of 14 to 26 months was activated, and the sentences were ordered to run consecutively to each other.


PATRICK JONES, 26, of Beaufort, pled guilty to Sale of Heroin and was sentenced to a prison term of 15 to 29 months. The sale took place in March, 2016, at the Dutch Treat Mobile Home Park in Newport, where Jones sold 10 bindles of heroin to an undercover informant working with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office.


JAMES KING, 31, of Havelock, pled guilty to Sale of Heroin and was sentenced to a term of 11 to 23 months in prison. King sold heroin to an informant working with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office, and the transaction took place in the parking lot of Gil’s Market in Newport, in December, 2015.


ANDRE MELVIN, 33, of New Bern, pled guilty to Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver Cocaine, and received an active prison sentence of 6 to 17 months. Melvin was arrested after being found passed out behind the wheel of his car at the Speedway Mart in Newport. An officer with the Newport Police Department responded, and arrested Melvin for Resisting a Public Officer after Melvin gave the officer false identifying information. The officer located two bags of cocaine on Melvin during a search incident to arrest for the resisting charge. Melvin also faces drug charges in Craven County, where he is scheduled for trial next week.


MADELINE DARE JOHNSON, 27, of Morehead City, pled guilty to Sale of Heroin and six other felony offenses related to the sale of heroin in March 2015 and March 2016 to informants working with the Morehead City Police Department. Judge Alford sentenced Johnson to an active prison sentence of 8 to 19 months, followed by another sentence of 70 to 140 months which he suspended, and placed Johnson on supervised probation for five years, once she is released from prison.

Seven other defendants also pled guilty to felony drug charges during this special term of court, and received suspended sentences, based upon the circumstances of each case and the defendants’ lack of prior criminal record.

Murder suspect pleads guilty before trial

JONATHAN PUGH, 21

SCOTT E. THOMAS
DISTRICT ATTORNEY

New Bern, North Carolina – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, in Craven County Superior Court today, JONATHAN PUGH, 21, of Havelock, entered guilty pleas in the cases against him, including murder, and was sentenced to a lengthy prison term. The cases were scheduled for jury trial for March 27, 2017. Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ben Alford presided, and the cases were prosecuted in court by District Attorney Scott Thomas and Assistant District Attorney Karen Hobbs and Assistant District Attorney Terry Light.

On April 14, 2013, Havelock Police received a call regarding shots fired at Flyers, a club located off Highway 101 / Fontana Boulevard. They found the victim, Todd Asa North, inside the doorway of the club, having been shot four times. Mr. North was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Officers also found that five other people had been shot, but not fatally. Police interviewed more than 25 witnesses, and reviewed surveillance video from the club. Based on their investigation, they put together the following sequence of events: prior to the shooting, there was an altercation inside the club between two groups of people. One group consisted of PUGH – then 18 years of age — and his brother and friend. Both groups were escorted out of the club by security, including Todd North. During that escort, there was a further altercation between the security employees and PUGH.

PUGH left the area and returned to the club with a weapon. PUGH fired several rounds from the handgun (a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson) in the air, then walked to the front door of the club and fired into the club multiple times. Witnesses inside the club stated that Todd North was told about the gun in the parking lot, and retrieved his own weapon, and stood at the door of the club to prevent PUGH from coming inside. PUGH shot North four times, and North managed to shoot PUGH one time in the abdomen. PUGH then fled the scene. Havelock Police immediately reviewed the video footage, and were able to identify PUGH. They tracked him down and took him into custody, finding the gun in his waistband. PUGH was transported to the hospital for treatment,

and was found to have no detectable alcohol in his blood. All of the recovered shell casings matched PUGH’s weapon.

The five other persons shot suffered various injuries requiring medical treatment.

PUGH pled guilty to the following counts: Second Degree Murder; Discharging a Weapon into Occupied Property, and five counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury. Judge Alford sentenced PUGH to consecutive prison sentences, all totaling 495 to 630 months in prison (41 to 52 years).

District Attorney Scott Thomas said: “We are pleased the defendant has pled guilty and been sentenced up to 52 years in prison. We believed, based on the facts, a sentence in the life range was appropriate. A sentence up to 52 years for this 21-year-old defendant is essentially a life sentence. Pugh killed one person, injured five others and put even more at risk by his violent criminal conduct. Had Pugh not pled guilty today, his trial for these offenses would have begun March 27. The North family supports this guilty plea and sentence. They are glad to have the prosecution reach this successful conclusion.”

The case was investigated by the Havelock Police Department, with assistance from the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and a firearms expert from the North Carolina State Crime Lab in Raleigh.

Drug deals lead to prison sentence

GEORGE F. FENDERSON, 49

SCOTT E. THOMAS
DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Bayboro, North Carolina – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, in Pamlico County Superior Court yesterday, GEORGE F. FENDERSON, 49, of Leland, was convicted upon his guilty plea to felony drug offenses and was sentenced to prison. Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ben Alford presided over this term of court, and Assistant District Attorney Christy Hawkins prosecuted the cases in court.

In August, 2016, an investigator with the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office, along with an agent from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, conducted an undercover purchase from FENDERSON in which a quantity of cocaine and heroin were provided.

Prior to his case being called for trial, FENDERSON pled guilty to one count of Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver Cocaine, and one count of Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver Heroin. Judge Alford sentenced FENDERSON to consecutive prison sentences of 11 to 23 months each, for a total sentence of 22 to 46 months. Judge Alford also imposed the payment of court costs of more than $ 2700.00. When FENDERSON is released from the Division of Adult Correction, he will be subject to a nine-month term of post-release supervision, similar to probation, during which time he will be subject to random drug screens and warrantless searches by a supervising officer. If he violates that post-release supervision, he could be ordered to serve more time in prison as a penalty.

Arrests made in illegal internet sweepstakes business robbery

Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office

On Saturday, December 10, 2016 at approximately 11:50pm, an illegal internet sweepstakes business located within Hardison Square in Alliance NC contacted Pamlico County Communications advising that 3 subjects had forcefully entered the business, all brandishing handguns and demanded cash. Upon arrival, The Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation. Investigators with the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office conducted interviews and collected evidence at the scene. Investigators determined that approximately $1,700.00 cash was stolen during the robbery. Investigators were able to identify the female from surveillance footage at the business. Other evidence located at the crime scene and interviews conducted during the investigation led Investigators to the identity of three males also involved in the robbery.

Saraya Richardson, 16

Saraya Richardson, 16, of New Bern was arrested on December 22nd, 2016 for one count of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and one Count of Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon. Richardson was placed under a $500,000 secured bond. Based on Richardson’s age and criminal history she received a bond reduction and has since been released after posting bond.

Domonic Graham, 25

Ryshante Graham, 26

On February 9th, 2017 Domonic Graham, 25, of New Bern and Ryshante Graham, 26, of New Bern were arrested and charged with one count of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and one Count of Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon. Both Domonic Graham and Ryshante Graham were placed under a $250,000 secured bond and are being housed at the Pamlico County Detention Center. Both have a first appearance on February 10th, 2017 in Pamlico County District Court.

Investigators are expected to make the fourth arrest in this case in the near future. Investigators will also be charging the owner of the business for operating an illegal sweepstakes establishment.

Information sought in attempted Car Jacking [Updated]

Dummy sitting in the middle of the roadway.

Viewer information has led Carteret County deputies to three neighborhood juveniles responsible for setting up the dummy in the roadway. One of the three juveniles ages 10, 14, and 17 told investigators the whole ordeal was supposed to be a prank. Juveniles explained that they set up the dummy in hopes that someone would run it over and think they hit a real person and “freak out”. Detectives will be continuing the investigation and consulting with the district attorney’s office to determine if charges will be filed. Detectives do not believe this incident is related to Monday’s Dollar General robbery.


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Carteret County Sheriff’s Office

Carteret County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the people responsible for an attempted car-jacking that occurred at the intersection of West Southwinds Drive and Pagoda Court in the early morning hours of Sunday, 01/22/2017.

Carteret County deputies responded to the Paradise East subdivision at 1:30am after a 33-year-old woman who was driving home from work approached what appeared to be a person sitting in the middle of the roadway. As she got closer to the person, which turned out to be a dummy, two young white males wearing dark hoodies pulled on the door handles of her locked vehicle. The victim immediately drove away which was the “absolutely the right thing to do” said Jason Wank. Deputies searched the area but were unable to locate any suspects and the dummy was seized.

This incident should serve as a reminder that while operating your vehicle it’s a good idea to keep your doors locked and remain inside when approaching anything suspicious.

The dummy was constructed of a fake plastic head and kids clothing including a red Field & Stream shirt. Anyone who has information about this dummy or the people responsible for making it are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office, Derek Moore, at 728-8400 ext. 8849 or Crime-Stoppers at 726-INFO (4636).

At the current time detectives are unable to rule out of this incident is connected to the Dollar General robbery.

Information sought in attempted Car Jacking

Dummy sitting in the middle of the roadway.

Carteret County Sheriff’s Office

Carteret County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the people responsible for an attempted car-jacking that occurred at the intersection of West Southwinds Drive and Pagoda Court in the early morning hours of Sunday, 01/22/2017.

Carteret County deputies responded to the Paradise East subdivision at 1:30am after a 33-year-old woman who was driving home from work approached what appeared to be a person sitting in the middle of the roadway. As she got closer to the person, which turned out to be a dummy, two young white males wearing dark hoodies pulled on the door handles of her locked vehicle. The victim immediately drove away which was the “absolutely the right thing to do” said Jason Wank. Deputies searched the area but were unable to locate any suspects and the dummy was seized.

This incident should serve as a reminder that while operating your vehicle it’s a good idea to keep your doors locked and remain inside when approaching anything suspicious.

The dummy was constructed of a fake plastic head and kids clothing including a red Field & Stream shirt. Anyone who has information about this dummy or the people responsible for making it are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office, Derek Moore, at 728-8400 ext. 8849 or Crime-Stoppers at 726-INFO (4636).

At the current time detectives are unable to rule out of this incident is connected to the Dollar General robbery.

Potter Guilty Plea and Prison Sentence

SAMUEL TYLER POTTER, 26

Scott E. Thomas | District Attorney

Bayboro, North Carolina – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced that, in Pamlico County Superior Court, SAMUEL TYLER POTTER, 26, of Grantsboro, entered guilty pleas in several cases against him, including one involving the death of his infant child in 2013. Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ben Alford presided. The cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney Karen Hobbs.

In August, 2012, the Pamlico County Fire Marshal was contacted by the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Department in reference to an illegal burning of a structure in Grantsboro. POTTER initially informed the Sheriff’s deputy that he was burning down an old chicken coop. When the Fire Marshal arrived, the coop and a shed were both on fire, and POTTER denied knowing how the fire started. POTTER was charged with, and pled guilty to, one count of Burning Other Buildings.

In January, 2014, the home of POTTER’s grandfather was broken into, and numerous firearms were stolen. The Sheriff’s Department served defendant with outstanding orders for arrest for other cases, and while defendant was in custody, his grandfather spoke to him, and POTTER admitted having done the break-in and theft. When POTTER arrived at the jail, he ran from the deputies, who gave chase and captured him. The firearms were ultimately returned. POTTER was charged with, and pled guilty to, Felony Breaking & Entering and Felony Larceny.

While in the Pamlico Jail, POTTER called local bondsman, Reginald Beasley, to arrange for the posting of his secured bond. Beasley went to the jail, and posted POTTER’s bond, and took POTTER to his grandfather’s house, where he was supposed to have the money to pay Beasley. While Beasley was trying to find a safe that POTTER described, POTTER began hitting Beasley in the back of the head. After Beasley fell to the ground, POTTER attacked him with a machete. Beasley attempted to defend himself, and POTTER then tried to take Beasley’s handgun. POTTER ran to the house, and took his grandfather’s rifle; however, after his grandfather got the rifle away from POTTER,

POTTER then grabbed a knife and stabbed himself in the neck. Beasley was taken to Vidant Medical Center with multiple injuries requiring treatment and hospitalization. POTTER was charged with, and pled guilty to, one count of Attempted First Degree Murder.

On December 28, 2013, Pamlico County Rescue was called to POTTER’s residence on a call of an infant not breathing. The child, Brayden Potter, 8 months of age, was found with blood in his mouth and on his shirt. When the child arrived at CarolinaEast Medical Center, his temperature was 105 degrees, and he was declared dead shortly thereafter. POTTER told the doctor that the child had been crying and agitated for several days. POTTER said he had given Brayden Tylenol, and put him to bed. When he checked on Brayden 12 minutes later, the child was unresponsive, but vomited some and began to bleed from his mouth. The final autopsy and toxicology screening were completed on June 27, 2014. They showed diphenhydramine poisoning (Benadryl), with a lethal concentration in Brayden’s liver and blood. The Sheriff’s Department then began a death investigation after receiving the autopsy results. POTTER admitted that he had given Brayden a dropper full of Benadryl, and later had mixed Benadryl into Brayden’s formula. According to the printed instructions for Benadryl, it is not to be given to children under age 6 except under a doctor’s supervision. POTTER pled guilty to one count of Voluntary Manslaughter.

Judge Alford sentenced POTTER to a total sentence of 19 to 25 years in prison.

Suspect sought in Armed Robbery

Carteret County Sheriff’s Office

Click on photo to enlarge

Carteret County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for an armed robbery that occurred at the Dollar General, 980 Hwy 24 (Hwy 24 & E. Southwinds Drive) in Newport on Monday night.

Carteret County deputies responded to the business at approximately 8:00pm after a white male wearing a dark colored hoodie and mask entered the store and approached the cash register. The suspect held two clerks at gunpoint with an unknown caliber black handgun and demanded money. One other customer was in the store when the robbery occurred and no one was injured. The suspect made off with less than $300.00 dollars. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Carteret County Crime-Stoppers at (252) 726-INFO (4636) or email Crimetips@CarteretCountyNC.gov. You do not have to give your name to be eligible for a cash reward.

Pamlico County Commissioner caught in ‘sting’ operation

Ken Heath

Ken Heath issues public apology

CRAVEN COUNTY – Rumored for weeks, embarrassing allegations against three-term Pamlico County Commissioner Ken Heath, 46, were confirmed this week when the Craven County Sheriff’s Department issued a ‘criminal summons’ charging Heath with an ‘Attempt to Patronize a Prostitute.’

Insiders familiar with the case say Heath showed up at a motel in James City on Friday, Dec. 16 fully prepared to pay for a sexual encounter with an unidentified female.

According to a press release issued Wednesday afternoon by the Craven County Sheriff’s Department, law enforcement officials used a notorious social media website, known as Backpage.com to lure Heath and others.

The scheme – which would make great fodder for some future TV show – was actually part of a much larger and more serious effort to lure a man known as Kevin Smith of 812 Sherman Point in New Bern. The big fish wanted from this sting operation was Smith. And, the scheme worked! Smith was arrested and jailed two days later on Dec. 18.

There is a monumental difference in the two cases. Heath’s transgression is a highly embarrassing misdemeanor – and he has been summoned to appear in court on Feb. 3. He appears to have no connections whatsoever to Smith or to half a dozen other culprits.

Criminal Summons for Ken Heath

Smith, on the other hand, faces multiple and serious felony counts. He has been incarcerated with bail set at $1 million.

Ironically, Heath is a sworn Law Enforcement Officer who had been working part-time with the Craven County Sheriff’s office, having resigned earlier in the month to take a post elsewhere.

Wednesday morning, Heath issued the following apology:

I have made a terrible mistake, which I take full responsibility for. It has deeply hurt my wife and family and let down those in the community who have supported me in the past.  My conduct was inexcusable  and I am deeply sorry for the damage I have caused.

I apologize to everyone involved. I apologize to my family, and beg for their forgiveness. My greatest concern is for my wife. One day I hope she will forgive me for this inexcusable mistake and betrayal. 

I hope and pray that this will, in some way, make me a better person, and help me to serve my fellow man in ways that, at this point, I cannot possibly imagine.  I pray to God for his forgiveness, and I willingly accept any punishment that a court deems appropriate. All of my time and focus now needs to be spent with my  family as we begin the healing process.