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Catawba, Lincoln launch drug sweep; 19 arrested

Law enforcement officers fanned out across Lincoln and Catawba counties Wednesday morning, launching a crackdown on alleged drug dealers.

The sweep, dubbed “Play 60” by authorities because they are looking for 60 suspects, began with a briefing about 5:30 a.m. at the Harven Crouse Detention Center in Lincoln County. Deputies, detectives and narcotics agents from the Catawba and Lincoln county sheriff’s offices then began looking for the suspects.

By mid-morning, authorities said they had arrested at least 19 of the suspects.

The sheriff’s office in Lincoln County said the 60 suspects are facing a total of 206 felony drug charges. Those suspects are described as both street-level and large-scale traffickers, and fewer than 25 percent are repeat offenders, authorities said.

The suspects range in age from 15 to 67, according to investigators.

“The majority of our investigations stem from tips phoned in by the community,” said Lincoln County Sheriff’s Narcotics Lt. Jason Reid. “Our success over the last four years is credited to the proactive approach put in place by Sheriff (David) Carpenter and the never-ending tips phoned into our tip line by the community.”

Reid said the public can phone those tips in to 704-736-8422.

Those arrested as of mid-morning (with charges):

Richard Mason Aderhold, 44, Lincolnton – possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture; sell and deliver a controlled substance; $50,000 bond.

Jason Nathaniel Carr, 35, Cherryville – possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture; sell and deliver a controlled substance; $15,000 bond.

Krystal Lianne Carter, 28, Lincolnton – possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a controlled substance; selling and delivering a controlled substance; $50,000 bond.

Ronald Lee Ewing, 60, Vale – possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a controlled substance; selling and delivering a controlled substance; $50,000 bond.

Mica Nathaniel Falls, 39, Newton – maintaining a dwelling/vehicle for a controlled substance; $15,000 bond.

Johnny Nathaniel Farley, 62, Newton – possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture; sell and deliver a controlled substance; $50,000 bond.

Keith David Gatza, 30, Crouse – possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a controlled substance; possession of a controlled substance; maintaining a dwelling/vehicle for a controlled substance; $30,000 bond.

Anita Marie Gibson, 38, Lincolnton – possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a controlled substance; selling and delivering a controlled substance; $25,000 bond.

Shelia Maxine Gilbert, 33, Lincolnton – possession of a controlled substance with iuntent to manufacture; possession with intent to manufacture a controlled substance; sell and deliver a controlled substance; $30,000 bond.

Adah Katherine Hight, 39, Lincolnton – possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a controlled substance; $40,000 bond.

Melissa Ann Hoyle, 40, Lincolnton – possession of a controlled substance; maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance; $15,000 bond.

Joseph Earl Locklear, 66, Denver – possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a controlled substance; maintaining a dwelling/vehicle for a controlled substance; $10,000 bond.

Brittany Leigh Mistach, 20, Iron Station – conspiracy to distribute cocaine; maintaining a dwelling/vehicle for a controlled substance; $20,000 bond.

Alan Gregory Moore, 51, Lincolnton – possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver; sell and deliver a controlled substance; $40,000 bond.

Billy Ray Putnam Jr., 37, Lowell – possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture; possession of a controlled substance; sell and deliver a controlled substance; $40,000 bond.

Walter Thomas Rinderer, 33, Lincolnton – possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a controlled substance; selling and delivering a controlled substance; $20,000 bond.

Whitney Amber Shoup, 26, Cherryville – possession with intent to manufacture a controlled substance; sell or deliver a controlled substance; $15,000 bond.

Raymond William Taylor, 67, Denver – possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a controlled substance; maintaining a dwelling/vehicle for a controlled substance; $50,000 bond.

Brandon Owen Townsend, 26, Hickory – possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a controlled substance; sell and deliver a controlled substance; $15,000 bond.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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