Officials: 15 percent drop in violent crime

County rate decrease among the best in nation
Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office take 13 more off local streets

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Update: On Sept. 16, the U.S. Attorney’s Office acknowledged the 15 percent figure was a mistake

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County Sheriff James Clemmons Jr., Chief Deputy Mark Gulledge, Capt. Jay Childers and Capt. Mike Burns were giddy.

All four men like their jobs well enough, but Wednesday morning they had particularly good news to share: 12 cases involving 13 people took criminals, some of them with long and violent histories, out of Richmond Country neighborhoods.

Though a breakdown of statistics wasn’t immediately available, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Middle District of North Carolina shared with the sheriff’s office that violent crime in Richmond County had dropped 15 percent from year to year. U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand said in a news release that it’s in large part due to the “effective partnership between Richmond County law enforcement, the office of District Attorney Reece Saunders and our office (that) will continue to work hard to make our communities safer for all.”

In other words, bad guys, take a seat. Clemmons said he has three staff members assigned to federal or state task forces that can, when cases meet certain guidelines, the case goes to federal court — which results in stiffer sentencing upon conviction.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Capt. Jay Childers, Chief Deputy Mark Gulledge and Capt. Mike Burns discuss recent federal convictions with Richmond County Sheriff James Clemmons Jr. seat, Wednesday during a news conference.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Capt. Jay Childers, Chief Deputy Mark Gulledge and Capt. Mike Burns discuss recent federal convictions with Richmond County Sheriff James Clemmons Jr. seat, Wednesday during a news conference.

“There is a different mindset when individuals are facing federal court,” Clemmons said of suspects. “Their attitude is totally different.”

In some cases, they choose to run. But after a time, they almost always get caught. John Adam Rillo, 41, of Ellerbe, had been handcuffed by a sheriff’s deputy when captured at his parent’s home but escaped when he jumped into his parents’ dog pen. The dogs were aggressive towards the law enforcement office and slowed his response, which allowed Rillo to run. Rillo was on the run for 13 days, from July 10 until his capture on July 24.

Rillo was one of 13 individuals listed in a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release distributed to local media outlets Wednesday by Clemmons. He is scheduled to have his case heard during the October criminal term in Greensboro.

Others aren’t so lucky. Their hope for leniency is gone. At the head of the pack is Scottie Allen Loftis, 38, of hamlet. He was federally indicated on Nov. 25, 2013 — two weeks after his father died. On March 17, Loftis pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. On Aug. 13, he was sentenced to 10 years in the Federal Bureau of Prisons followed by three years’ supervised probation. Loftis has not received a designation regarding where he will do  his time.

* Warren Devin Moseley, 28, of Hamlet, was indicated on Aug. 26, 2013. On Oct. 7 last year, Mosely pleaded guilty to distribution of cocaine and on Feb. 25 was sentenced to eight years and four months, followed by four years’ supervised probation. Mosely is serving his sentence at FCI-Beckley in Beaver, W.Va.

* Timothy Allen Register, 44, of Rockingham, and Joseph Gage Anderson, 22, of Rockingham, were federally indicated on Dec. 17, 2013. On Feb. 3, Register and Anderson pleaded guilty to possession of stolen firearms. On May 8, Register was sentenced to five years and six months, followed by three years of supervised probation. That same day, Anderson was sentenced to three years and three months, followed by a three-year term of supervised release. Register had not yet been placed in federal prison. Anderson is serving his sentence at FCI-Berkeley in Beaver, W.Va.

* Marlow Anthony Bowden, 48, of Ellerbe, was indicted Oct. 1, 2013. On Dec. 6, he pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. On March 12, Bowden was sentenced to four years in prison and three years’ supervised probation afterwards. Bowden is serving his sentence at FCI-Petersburg in Hopewell, Va.

* Keith Tyrone Allred Jr., 20, of Rockingham, was indicated on Oct. 28, 2013. On Jan. 6, Allred pleased guilty to possession of a stolen firearm. On April 2, he was sentenced to one year and eight months in federal prison followed by three years’ supervised probation. He is serving his sentence at FCI-Williams in Salters, S.C.

Three individuals have yet to be sentenced.

* Phillip Jamal Jones, 27, of Rockingham, was indicted Jan. 27. On April 7, Jones pleaded guilty to bank robbery and on June 9 pleaded guilty to carrying and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. It was Jones who robbed Community One Bank on Rockingham Road while wearing a ankle monitor. Nine hours after the bank robbery, Jones — who walked away with $2,122 — was apprehended.

Richmond County Crime Stoppers received one tip in the aftermath of the robbery, but it was the best one possible. Someone who recognized Jones from a mugshot shared on social media called to report he was wearing the ankle monitor and could be tracked — down to his current location.

SWAT teams from the Rockingham Police Department and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 1335 Cauthen Drive and, after a brief foot chase, apprehended Jones.

Jones is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday.

* Amy Threatt Campbell, 39, of Polkton, was indicated on May 27. On Aug. 4, Campbell pleaded guilty to possession of pseudo ephedrine knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Campbell is detained in federal custody and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 13 in Greensboro.

Along with Rillo, there are three others whose charges have yet to be adjudicated.

* Reggie Dwayne Harrington, 29, of Hamlet, was indicated on drug trafficking charges on July 29. On Aug. 25, Harrington was arrested. He is in federal custody and is scheduled to have his case heard during the October term.

* Juan Dasha Patterson, 22, of Hamlet, was indicated on drug trafficking charges on July 29. On Aug. 11, Pattesron was arrested and is scheduled to have his case heard during the October term.

* Lee Thomas Smith, 58, of Hamlet, was indicated on firearms charges on July 29. On Aug. 5, Smith was arrested and is detained in federal custody. He is scheduled to have his case heard in October.

Teamwork

The convictions are the result of close cooperation between the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, the Rockingham Police Department, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of N.C.

Clemmons said the partnerships are part of a pledge he made during his campaign for sheriff in 2010.

“I thought it was important to establish relationships with local, state and federal agencies,” Clemmons said, any others that “had Richmond County in its best interest.”

Clemmons pointed out the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in particular, which has “been very instrumental in getting these violent criminals off the street.”

Clemmons said equated having the federal agency on board to having a neighbor with a garage full of rakes and mowers.

“It’s like having a friend that has tools,” Clemmons said.

 

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Public safety

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  • Sheila Dunn Trotter

    Great job, guys!! Keep up the good work and stay safe.

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