Crime & Courts

Traffic stop leads to drug arrests in Lincoln

A burned-out license plate bulb and some nervous behavior led to the arrests of three persons early Sunday on drug charges in Lincoln County, authorities say.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said the arrests were made after an officer stopped a vehicle about 7 a.m. on N.C. 27 near the South Fork River Bridge.

Investigators said Sgt. Steven Grinnell was traveling eastbound on N.C. 27 when he saw a vehicle parked near the Davis Road intersection. Grinnell pulled off the road and said that when the vehicle passed him, the people in the car were acting suspicious. In addition, he said, the car had a burned-out bulb.

The officer said that when he stopped the vehicle, the driver gave him an identification card with a fictitious name but the driver’s actual photo. Authorities said the driver was identified later as Ricky Eugene Lewis, 32, of Newton. He had been wanted for a probation violation, authorities said.

Investigators said they found a number of items in the car – a black-handled BB gun, a large knife, a number of hypodermic needles, drug paraphernalia, scales and plastic baggies of methamphetamine. Deputies said they also seized several North Carolina ID cards in the vehicle.

Lewis was charged with several felonies -- possession of a controlled substance; possession with intent to manufacture a controlled substance; conspiracy; trafficking in stolen identities; and maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance. He also was charged with several misdemeanors. He was jailed under $60,000 bond.

Haley Dawn Young, 20, of Hickory, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy. She was jailed under $15,000 bond.

Michael Scott Looper, 36, of Hiddenite, was charged with possession of a controlled substance; maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance; and conspiracy. He also was jailed under $15,000 bond.