A precious metals dealer in Statesville has been arrested and accused accepting stolen jewelry and drug trafficking, according to Iredell County authorities.
Sheriffs Major Darrin Campbell said a six-month investigation led to the arrest of Phillip Bruce Razor, owner of North Carolina Gold and Diamond Exchange, on Signal Hill Drive near the Signal Hill Mall.
Razor, 53, of Catawba, has been charged with possession of stolen firearms; precious metal violations for failing to obtain identification during purchase of the items; trafficking in controlled substances; possession of controlled substances; possession of a weapon of mass destruction; and trafficking in fraudulent identifications.
In an Internet advertisement for his company, Razor said he has 30 years experience in the precious metals business.
Authorities said they began the investigation after receiving tips that Razor might be purchasing stolen property and precious metals without identifying the seller.
State law requires dealers to keep records of jewelry and metals, including photos of the items, and forward that information to law enforcement agencies. The information is used by law enforcement officers to investigate burglaries and other crimes.
Campbell said detectives allege that Razor was not complying with state law and was purchasing jewelry under the table.
Investigators conducted a number of undercover operations in which jewelry was sold to Razor. As a result of that investigation, detectives executed a search warrant last Friday and searched Razors business.
Detectives said they found several stolen items, including two firearms reported stolen in neighboring counties. A sawed-off shotgun also was found in the business, detectives say. And they reported finding several types of pills that Razor did not have a prescription for.
During the investigation, detectives identified property which was taken during residential breaking-and-entering cases, Campbell said.
In addition, investigators allege Razor was purchasing identification cards, including one card found at the business which was of a dead person. Detectives claim Razor used the cards to falsify other documents.
Razor was released Tuesday from jail under $9,500 bond.