Update: Deputies track stolen firearms

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 28, 2011

By Nathan Hardin
RICHFIELD — A China Grove woman and an Enochville man were arrested on Saturday after authorities say deputies tracked stolen guns to a Rockwell sporting goods shop.
Rowan County deputies arrested 21-year-old Stephanie Sprinkle and 23-year-old Jonathan Wayne Nix around 2:20 a.m. after officers said Sprinkle and Nix went to Lead Chunkers Sporting Goods and attempted to sell stolen rifles and shotguns.
Deputies went to 1195 Flat Creek Church Road at about 9 p.m. on Friday and spoke with homeowner Gary Leach.
Leach told officers two .22 caliber chrome muzzle loaders, a 12-gauge Winchester shotgun and two Harrington & Richardson 20-gauge shotguns had been taken, as well as a laptop and other electronic items.
The report said officers found that an object from a truck bed at Leach’s residence had been thrown through a glass door at the home’s rear entrance.
Deputies said they found some of the firearms had been sold to the sporting goods shop, after business employees called police about the suspicious transaction.
A Rockwell Police officer spoke to Stephanie Sprinkle, the report said, hours earlier while she was selling the rifles, but the guns had not been reported stolen at the time.
The Rockwell officer told Lead Chunkers employees to hold the firearms for a few days and got Sprinkle’s contact information before two of the firearms were sold.
After the break-in report was filed, deputies spoke to Rockwell Police and tracked Sprinkle back to her home at 1722 N. Main St., China Grove.
The report said Sprinkle was taken into custody. Officers also found a small bag of black tar heroin in her bra during the arrest.
She was charged with felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, felony possession of stolen goods, four counts of felony possession of stolen firearms, felony possession of heroin and felony obtaining property by false pretenses.
After taking a statement from Sprinkle, deputies spoke to Nix at his home at 307 Spring Garden Ave.
Nix told officers that Sprinkle came to him with a laptop and asked him to fix it, the report said.
But a search of his house led deputies to a different conclusion.
Officers said they found two of the stolen muzzle loaders, a shotgun, a Wii game console, a digital camera, an iPod Touch and a set of Leach’s keys inside the home.
Nix was charged with five counts of felony possession of stolen firearms, five counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, five counts of felony larceny of a firearm, felony possession of stolen goods, felony larceny and felony breaking and entering.
He was given a $151,000 bond. Sprinkle was given a $27,500 bond. Both were in jail Monday morning.
Nix was released from prison in March after being convicted of felony larceny. Prior to that, he was convicted of two counts of felony obtaining property by false pretense in 2009.