Man charged in alleged mobile meth lab

Police: Driver consented to search 

By Kevin Spradlin

ROCKINGHAM — An alert convenience store clerk might have prevented further damage or injury by calling police on a person acting suspiciously in the parking lot.

Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly said the clerk at West Side Shell Station on West Broad Avenue called 911 at about 5:25 a.m. Thursday. The store hadn’t yet opened for the day, and it was still dark — but the clerk told police the man was attempting to enter the store and was generally acting in a suspicious manner.

Nicholas Craig Smith

Nicholas Craig Smith

Upon officers’ arrival, they noticed a car exiting the parking lot without headlights turned on. It was still dark out, so they had probable cause to conduct a traffic stop. During that time, the driver, Nicholas Craig Smith, 22, of Rockingham, consented to a search of his vehicle, according to police.

Police officers said they determined Smith was in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine. Investigators with the State Bureau of Investigation were called to assist, Kelly said. He noted that SBI representatives expect additional arrests related to the traffic stop.

Smith was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. He was taken to Richmond County Jail and held on a $25,000 secured bond.

This isn’t Smith’s first brush with the law. He was convicted May 29, 2013 for driving while intoxicated. He received probation and a suspended sentence in that case. In June 2010, Smith was convicted a drug possession charge. That, too, resulted in probation and a suspended sentence.

Mabe, Stanton charged in opiate trafficking

ROCKINGHAM —  Two South Carolina residents were arrested Feb. 24 in Rockingham by city police officers and charged with trafficking opiates.

Darrell Kevin Mabe, 52, and Joyce Ann Stanton, 66, both of Bennettsville, were found with 20 doses of prescription pills. Stanton also was charged with maintaining a vehicle for controlled substances.

Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly said the arrests were made using a confidential informant.

Each suspect was originally held at the Richmond County Jail on a $100,000 secured bond. Mabe was in Richmond County District Court on Friday and defense attorney Ira Pittman had a judge agree to lower his bond to $50,000.

Stanton is due in court on April 9.

Covington charged with cocaine possession

ROCKINGHAM — City police arrested Tyrone Lamont Covington on March 6 after work by the Rockingham Police Department’s vice narcotics unit had sufficient evidence to charge the 27-year-old Rockingham man with drug charges.

Tyrone Lamont Covington

Tyrone Lamont Covington

Covington faces one count of selling/delivering cocaine and one count of maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for a controlled substance. Police Chief Billy Kelly said the arrest was made after information was obtained during an undercover operation.

Covington was arrested and held on a $5,000 secured bond. He is scheduled to appear March 19 in Richmond County District Court.



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

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