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Wednesday, 04 June 2014 13:54

Burned Out Tag Light Leads to Two Felony Drug Arrests

from left:  Ronnie Lynn Benfield & James Wallace Jernigan III from left: Ronnie Lynn Benfield & James Wallace Jernigan III courtesy of Hickory Police Dept.

46-year-old Ronnie Lynn Benfield of Main Avenue Drive N.W. in Hickory and 34-year-old James Wallace Jernigan III of Laurel Street in Hudson were both arrested by Hickory Police at about 1:45 a.m. today. They were each charged with one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count each of possession of marijuana up to half an ounce and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The arrests came about after an Officer parked at the Cupboard Express store on Highway 321 N.W. saw a Toyota Camry pulling out of the Sunhouse convenience store on 2nd Avenue N.W. with no license tag light. The Officer followed and then stopped the vehicle at 14th Street N.W. and Main Avenue Drive N.W.

Benfield was the driver and Jernigan was the passenger. Neither man had proper identification. A consent search of the vehicle was conducted, leading to the discovery of two glass pipes with residue, silver spoons with residue, digital scales, a baggie containing 3.5 grams of methamphetamine and another baggie containing 1.9 grams of marijuana.

Neither man admitted responsibility for the drugs, so both were arrested and charged. Benfield told Police he had just gone to pick up the vehicle for a friend, who was intoxicated.

Both men were taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for each set at $10,000, secured. First appearances in District Court were set for June 6 in Newton.

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