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from left: Yash Rahul Vaidya, Cecil Tyler Smith, & Sage Perry Wright
courtesy of Iredell Co. Sheriff's Office

Three Suspects Arrested in Connection to Drug Deal Gone Bad

20-year-old Yash Rahul Vaidya of Mooresville, 22-year-old Cecil Tyler Smith of Gastonia, and 20-year-old Sage Perry Wright of Cherryville have all been arrested by Iredell County Sheriff’s Officers in connection to a shooting last month in Mooresville.

All three suspects were charged with felony conspiracy to sell or deliver a schedule VI controlled substance. Vaidya was also charged with felony attempted armed robbery. Smith faces an additional felony count of possession with intent to sell & deliver a schedule VI controlled substance, along with a misdemeanor count of maintaining a vehicle for the sale or use of a controlled substance. Smith was also served with outstanding warrants for probation violations in Lincoln County.

Events leading to the arrests began at about 12 p.m. on September 14 when Deputies responded to a 9-1-1 call regarding a person with gunshot wounds at an address on Tennessee Circle in Mooresville. Deputies found a 20-year-old male in the residence with apparent gunshot wounds to his leg and arm. The victim, Yash Vaidya, was conscious and alert and provided Deputies with information about the shooting. He was transported by Iredell County E.M.S. to an emergency medical facility.

Vaidya told Deputies the shooting occurred at the end of his driveway and said he did not know the shooters. Deputies learned that the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle. Vaidya walked back to the residence where family members called 9-1-1.

Detectives and Investigators processed the crime scene, recovered and collected evidence, and conducted interviews with witnesses and neighbors. The investigation led to the identification of Cecil Tyler Smith and Sage Perry Wright as suspects in the shooting. The suspects were located and interviewed by Detectives. Detectives then re-interviewed Vaidya after he was released from the medical facility.

Investigators learned that Vaidya met the suspects through an online website where individuals chat with other marijuana users. Vaidya made arrangements with the suspects to purchase a felony amount of marijuana from them and have it delivered to his home on Tennessee Circle. When the suspects arrived, Vaidya met them at the end of his driveway. A disagreement took place over money owed. Vaidya allegedly pulled a knife from his pocket and threatened Cecil Smith with the knife. Wright saw Vaidya approaching Smith in a threatening manner, pulled a firearm, and fired multiple rounds at Vaidya, striking him in the leg and arm. Wright and Smith then fled the scene in their vehicle.

Vaidya was arrested on October 7. He was given a $10,000 secured bond. Smith was arrested on September 20. His bond was set at $13,500. Wright was arrested yesterday (October 12) in Gaston County and served with the Iredell County warrant. He was given a $10,000 secured bond. Vaidya will appear in District Court on October 31. Smith’s next Iredell County court date was set for December 7 with an appearance in a Lincoln County courtroom coming up on November 29. Wright’s next District Court appearance was scheduled for October 17.